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The International Magazine Exclusively For Drummers 

NOV. 1981 
$ 2.00 


SAudio Superstar 




Drumming*! J 

Elder StatJjk f mMi 


Thanks toThe Set-Up,“ 

this set’s mine, all mine, 
uniquely exclusively mine 
go get your own.” 

Alan Gratzer, REO Speeciwagon 

Introducing The Set-Up.™ 

Now you can group, position and angle every component to meet your 
individual needs-and your inimitable style. 

From the incomparable flair of REO’s Alan 
Gratzer-to your own unique style. Now. there’s a drum 
system versatile enough to cater to any drummers 
ability-and individuality. Because the unique modular 
design of The Set-Up from Ludwig now allows you 
virtually unlimited flexibility in tom tom placement. 
From either bass drum or floor stands, you can 
build up to a three-level, six tom grouping—with each 
tom ideally positioned and angled for maximum 
playing speed. And, thanks to Ludwig's exclusive 
Quik-Set™ feature, you can pre-set every component 

to an exact height and angle to make setting up faster 
than ever before. 

Best of all. the Set-Ups design allows an outfit to 
grow with you-your music-your stage or studio 
needs. It's uniquely yours. And that’s the pay-off. 

Alan Gratzer also plays Ludwigs 6-ply wood shell drums and 
Ludwig Rockers™ heads exclusively. 

/c/oo/iq " 

Ludwig Industries 

1728 N. Damen Avenue. Chicago. Illinois 60647 


VOL. 5 NO. 8 

Cover Photo by Eric Keltner 




Since his first recordings with Gary Lewis in the '60s, Jim 
Keltner has become one of the most well-respected drummers 
in the business. In this revealing MD interview, he speaks of his 
experiences with such artists as John Lennon, Boy Dylan, and 
Ringo Starr, and shares his thoughts on balancing personal 
happiness with the demands of being a musician. 10 


New Orleans-born Ed Blackwell is probably best known for 
his work with the influential saxophonist Ornette Coleman, and 
while Blackwell's contribution to Coleman's music was certain¬ 
ly innovative, it is only one aspect of his total career. Blackwell 
discusses his many influences and experiences, and how these 
were combined to give him something very unique—a truly 
individualstyle. _ 14_ 


It takes a special drummer to work with Frank Zappa, whose 
music is a combination of just about everything. Terry Bozzio 
not only met the challenge, but he did it so well as to become 
one of the most popular and best known of Zappa's long roster 
of drummers. Bozzio offers an interesting look into today's 
music scene, and into his own musical development. _22_ 

PART 1 . 





i n r ITDTTMC XT A D 1\X I XT \/n I ! D XT A DC9 








Stickings—Part I 

"ByTTaf^rCEaTFee - 277777777777777777 


Ambidexterity—Part 2 
by Roberto Petaccia. ........ 


Roberto Petaccia 
by Scott K. Fish . . . 


Cymbals: Tips and Myths 
by Roy Burns ......... 


by Hal Blaine . .. 


Headset Microphones for the Singing Drummer 
by Rick Van Horn. 









Donald Knaack _ 

by Rick Mattingly , * *... * -.* ■ 


by uneecn iero.* 


Ed Blackwell—"Bemsha Swing" 
by Skip Shaffer.. 


Future Sounds 

by David Garibaldi ....... 


Bobby Rosengarden _ 

by Joe Buerger .. 



Simmons SDS5 Modular Drum Synthesizer 
by Bob Saydlowski, Jr. *... 


















I'm saddened by the fact that the drum world recently lost a dear 
friend in Roberto Petaccia who died of cancer in New York City at the 
age of 29. Roberto was MD's primary contributing editor for Rock N 
Jazz Clinic. Those of us who work on the magazine feel a very special 
loss, as he was truly a key member of our team. 

Roberto was really much more than a superb drummer. He was an 
unselfish gentleman whose deep compassion for young players, and in¬ 
satiable enthusiasm for performing, writing and teaching, were infec¬ 
tious. He was the essence of that special camaraderie which exists be¬ 
tween drummers universally. 

In an effort to maintain that spirit, the Directors of Modern Drum¬ 
mer have decided to establish a scholarship in his name. The Roberto 
Petaccia Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually to a talented 
and worthy drummer who has been deprived of an opportunity for ad¬ 
vanced musical education. The scholarship will be coordinated through 
the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and the winner will be select¬ 
ed by MD each year. Further details can be obtained by writing to the 
Berklee College of Music, c/o Scholarship Committee, 1140 Boylston 
Street, Boston, MA 02215. 

One final note, Roberto had submitted several installments of his 
Rock V Jazz Clinic in advance. We plan to continue publishing the se¬ 
ries until it is completed. Though some may question our decision, we 
feel certain that Roberto would have wanted to continue sharing his 
ideas with you. 

Joe Cocker, Delaney & Bonnie, John Lennon and Bob Dylan are 
just a few of the artists drummer Jim Keltner has performed with. A 
household word in the L.A. studios, Keltner shares his views and phi¬ 
losophies, musical and otherwise, in this penetrating profile by MD's 
Scott K. Fish. 

Terry Bozzio has worked with the Brecker Brothers. Frank Zappa 
and UK. An outspoken 29 year old, Terry lives for performing and 
tells all in Bozzio: Burnin'. 

Firmly rooted in the New Orleans traditional style and a student of 
African rhythms, Ed Blackwell was a key figure in the music of Or¬ 
nette Coleman during the early sixties. And at age 78, Sonny Greer 
still maintains an active performing schedule. In The Elder Statesman 
of Jazz, Sonny paints a delightful picture as he reminisces on 28 years 
in the Ellington drum chair during the heyday of that great orchestra. 

Danny Read's Evolution of the Drum Set: Part I is a fascinating 
look at the development of the instrument with some great photo¬ 
graphs. And if you've ever had your ears ring after a full night's work, 
you'll learn more about it from health and science editor Jim Dearing, 
who explores one of our most prevalent occupational health hazards 
in, Are Drums Harming Your Ears? 

November's column roster is as diverse as it is enlightening. For 
openers, there's Dave Garibaldi with some incredible challenges for 
mind and body, Roy Burns on cymbal myths, Gary Chaffee on stick- 
ings, Roberto Petaccia on ambidexterity, and Rick Van Horn on the 
new Shure miking system for the singing drummer. You can also read 
about percussionist Donald Knaack, TV drummer-conductor Bobby 
Rosengarden, and the amazing Simmons SDS5. 

Finally, the editors of Modern Drummer dedicate this issue to the 
memory of Robert Petaccia. He will be missed. „ 



Ronald Spagnardi 
Rick Mattingly 
Scott K. Fish 
Mark Hurley 
Paul Uldrich 
Tom Mandrake 
Jean Mazza 

Charlene David 


Isabel Spagnardi 
Ann Lambariello 
Carol Morales 
Leo L. Spagnardi 
Ellen Urry 


Evelyn Urry 


Henry Adler, Carmine Appice, Horacee Ar¬ 
nold, Louie Bellson, Bill Bruford, Roy Burns, 
Jim Chapin, Billy Cobham, Les DeMerle, Len 
DiMuzio, Charlie Donnelly. Saul Goodman. 
Danny Gottlieb, Sonny Igoe, Jaimo Johnson, 
Don Lamond, Mel Lewis, Peter Magadini, 
Butch Miles, Joe Morello, Neil Peart. Charlie 
Perry, Charli Persip, Joe Pollard, Arthur 
Press, Paul Price, Paul Real. Paul T. Riddle, 
Ed Shaughnessy, Lenny White. 


Susan Alexander, Rich Baccaro, Robert Carr, 
Jim Dearing. Clint Dodd, Robyn Flans. Stan¬ 
ley Hall, Harold Howland, Cheech Iero, Dave 
Levine, Bruce Nixon. Michael Rozek, Mi¬ 
chael Shore, Robin Tolleson. T. Bruce Wittet. 

4533) is published 9 times yearly, February, 
April, May, June, July, August, October, 
November and December by Modern Drum¬ 
mer Publications, Inc., 1000 Clifton Avenue, 
Clifton, N.J. 07013. Second Class Postage 
paid at Clifton, N.J. 07015 and at Richmond, 
Virginia 23219. Copyrighted 1981 by Modern 
Drummer Publications, Inc. All rights re¬ 
served. Reproduction without the permission 
of the publisher is prohibited. SUBSCRIP¬ 
TIONS: $15.95 per year, $28.95, two years. 
Single copies $2.00. MANUSCRIPTS: Mod¬ 
ern Drummer welcomes manuscripts, howev¬ 
er, cannot assume responsibility for them. 
Manuscripts must be accompanied by a self- 
addressed stamped envelope. CHANGE OF 
ADDRESS: Allow at least six weeks for a 
change. Please provide both old and new 
address. MUSIC DEALERS: Modern Drum¬ 
mer is available for resale at bulk rates. 
Direct correspondence to Modem Drummer 
Publications, Inc.. 1000 Clifton Avenue, Clif¬ 
ton, N.J. 07013. (201) 778-1700. POSTMAS¬ 
TER: Send form 3579 to Modem Drummer, 
1000 Clifton Avenue. Clifton. N.J. 07013. 




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Q. What do you think of the tonal quality 
and practicality of Evans Hydraulic heads 
and Remo Roto-toms? 

James Casey 
Carteret, NJ 

A. I don't like the Evans Hydraulic 
heads. I feel they're very dead sounding, 
and that they absorb the impact of the 
drumstick and soak up all the response 
of the skin; which does terrible things to 
the feel of the drum. But some people like 
the sound. It's totally a matter of taste. 
I've used the Remo Roto-toms quite a lot. 
They're just very specialized drums. If 
you're buying your first drum set, I 
wouldn't really bother with them. But if 
you're into experimentation, I suppose 
they're experimental. As the basis for a 
drumset they're not versatile enough. I 
like them for particular tom-tom effects, I 
usually prefer normal tom-toms because 
they have a good sound. But occasional¬ 
ly, you want to use something that 
doesn't sound like it's part of the drum- 


Q. Do you think there is anything now 
being played on drums that hasn't been 
played before? 

Eddie Tabile 
Springfield, Mo. 
A. No, but allow me to explain my think¬ 
ing. There are a finite number of rudi¬ 
ments which make up drumming, but an 
infinite number of combinations in which 
they can be played. Percussion players 
and African/Latin rhythms greatly influ¬ 
ence contemporary music. That's what 
makes it sound like there's something 
new being played. It's the placement of 
the rudiments in today's music that 
makes it sound new. Music has changed, 
and so has the placement of the rudi¬ 
ments, yet the rudiments remain the 
same. That does not mean to say that 
drummers aren't playing anything worth¬ 
while. If you were to go back and listen 
closely to the playing of Max Roach, 
Buddy Rich, Sid Catlett, Elvin Jones, 
Gene Krupa, Philly Joe Jones and Tony 
Williams, you would fully understand 
what I'm saying. It's just new interpreta¬ 
tions of basic licks. I will say that what's 
new today is the use of the instruments 
themselves. Drummers seem to be 
learning to play with their feet more, and 
are beginning to realize the possibilities 
of the hi-hat. 


Jack DeJohnette - Charlie Perry The Art of Modern Jazz 
Drumming' price $8.98. 

Les DeMerie 'Jazz Rock Fusion I and II' price $5.00. 

Al Miller - Volume l-VI 



2204 Jerusalem Avenue 
N. Merrick, NY 11566 


Q. You were once billed as the fastest 
drummer in the world. Do you feel you're 
still the fastest? Also, how long have you 
been playing? 

Richard Hoffman 
Buffalo, N.Y. 

A. There are a lot of good boys around, 
but many drummers have said I'm play¬ 
ing faster now than I did 30 years ago. I 
still practice 3-4 hours a day. I some¬ 
times practice with winter gloves on. That 
really puts some chops on you. I was 68 
years old last March, and have been 
hitting the drums for about 63 years. It's 
the one thing, outside of my family, that 
keeps me happy. 


Q. What was the most important studio 
session for you personally? 

Arnold Patrowski 
Vineland, N.J. 
A. Probably the first session I did with 
the Woody Herman Band in 1966 or '67. 
Even though I do many commercial re¬ 
cordings with artists like Barry Manilow 
and Cher, I still consider myself a jazz 
drummer, and Woody's sessions were 
jazz dates. It was something I always 
wanted to do and I was completely in¬ 
volved in it. I remember I had a great deal 
of anxiety about doing the recording 
since I had only been on the road with the 
band for a month. 



Shop with the Stars! 








Jayne Ippolito’s 

Tf\\ ft <» 

ET ■ NEW YORK, N.Y. 10036 ■ (212) 3$4 

Specialists in Percussion J0HN BUf 

I recently had the honor of participat¬ 
ing in the 2nd Annual Summer Jazz 
Drumming Workshop at Ohio Universi¬ 
ty. It was an intensive week's worth of 
experience that was immensely reward¬ 
ing both educationally and socially. The 
sessions covered all areas of jazz drum¬ 
ming imaginable. I would like to person¬ 
ally send my thanks to Ed Soph, Guy 
Remonko, and Bob Breithaupt for their 
invaluable assistance throughout the 
workshop. With the Jazz Drumming 
Workshop and MD to help us along, how 
can we drummers possibly go wrong? 



I was amazed to see Stewart Copeland 
win the "Most Promising New Drum¬ 
mer" award in your June MD. I am 
hoping in the future to see an article on 
this truly great drummer. Thank you. 

Editor's Note: MD correspondent Robyn 
Flans is at work on a Stewart Copeland 

exclusive due out in a future MD. 

I'm sure the author meant well in 
his article A Conga Primer, but if you're 
serious about learning, you have to know 
various rhythms, and the proper execu¬ 
tion of these rhythms such as the Afro- 
Cuban guaguanco (not "wawanko"). If 
you work hard on the proper hand pat¬ 
terns you will have a good sound, and 
with proper technique, your hands won't 
need tape or gloves. How about some 
articles on people like Gene Golden, 
Jerry Gonzalez and people who know 
the correct way to play. Guys who have 
paid their dues. 


Thank you for the fine piece on our 
school. We've had response from coast 
to coast and Europe. Many students 
have moved to N.Y. to study here as a 
direct result of your article. It's obvious 
that your magazine has respect through¬ 
out the world, and with articles like 
Bassists: On Drummers expanding the 

scope of MD, things can only keep get¬ 
ting better. 


I just wanted to thank MD for the fine 
Simon Phillips story. I've been working 
as Simon's roadie for two years. Stanley 
Hall's interviewing was right on and 
John W. Wright's photos were lovely. I 
don't think a more thorough article could 
have been done. 


Through MD I have observed new 
drum products and different ideas on 
how to make drums sound better. I dis¬ 
agree with most of them. A drum doesn't 
need anything added to it to make it 
sound good. The most beautiful sound in 
the world is a conventional double-head¬ 
ed drum with both heads in perfect tune 
with themselves. The sound is incompa- 

continued on page 8 

^ a rnt inH th 

We’re grateful to these 
great performers ... and 
our thousands of friends 
around the world who have made 
Remo the sound choice in percussion 
for nearly a quarter century. 

We help you sound better* 

Remo, Inc 12804 Raymer St , North Hollywood CA 91605 

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your size tor new SB value RemO/PrO-Mark T-shirt Dark Brown only Limtl 1 per ad 



It's important that your hardware's right, 
so take a tip from Lenny White. 

“Your drum kit has to be comfortable. You’ve got to be able 
to reach all of the pieces easily, without undue contortions. 
All that requires hardware that’s strong, versatile and 
durable. And ail that requires is Tama.” 

The Strongest Name in Hardware 

For a lull color catalog of Tama drums and hardware send $2,00 to: 

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327 Broadway, Idaho Falls, ID 33401 
In Canada: 6355 Park Ave. Montreal, PQ H2V4H5 

Are you tired ol warped uneven and brittle drumsticks? f 

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■ I X-10’s cost a little more but they may be the only sticks worth 

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Reader's Platform continued from page 6 

rable to what most drummers have ever 



Thank you tor quoting me correctly in 
your article Bassists: On Drummers. I 
forgot one drummer, Hal Blaine, who 
I've worked with a lot in the studios. We 
took each tune and/or singer, applied our 
particular talents to create "hooks" and 
lines, and made hits for them while rais¬ 
ing our kids who are now grown. We 
were a family together for years—the 
greatest bunch of people in the world 
who made even the worst situation fun to 
play, and that's what got on those hits of 
the '60s and 70s. Love your magazine. 


I think MD is really great and I read it 
from cover to cover. How about some 
features on players like Steve Jordan, 
Victor Lewis, Chris Parker, James Gad- 
son, Rick Schlosser and Terry Bozzio? 
Over here in Ireland I only get to read 
about the top drummers like Englishmen 

Phil Collins and Bill Bruford. I don't get 
too much on USA players. Many thanks. 


MD has excellent balance and the in¬ 
terviews have real substance. I would 
like to see articles on techniques and 
ideas on "endings," and more insight 
into developing as a soloist within the 
context of the melody. 


I can remember the day I discovered 

MD, mostly because I was ecstatic that 

someone was willing to devote an entire 

magazine to drummers and drumming. A 

bit of dissatisfaction began to creep in 

over the months though, until I picked 
up the July issue. I was starting to get 
tired of never, ever seeing mention of 
any women drummers/percussionists or, 
for that matter, of any women who play 
other instruments. I'm referring to your 
article on Susan Evans and the mention 
of Carol Kaye in Bassists: On Drum¬ 
mers. Will we get to see more articles 
featuring women in the future? 

Editor's Note: Definitely. pjfcj 



The sound is resonant. Powerful. 

The look and feel are rock-solid. The craftsmanship is uncompromised. 
The total effect is nothing short of electrifying. 

Yamaha drums. 




Trying to establish a representative 
interview with Jim Keltner requires a 
sense of humor. The way he plays drums 
and the way he is seem to be so alike. 
Talk to Jim on Monday about drum 
heads, for instance, and you'll get a 
different answer than you would if you 
asked again on Friday. We conducted 
this interview on and off for several 
months, putting the finishing touches to 
it only weeks before publication. We 
spoke about the early days, the crazy on- 
the-road days, his diverse drumming 
styles, John Lennon, Boh Dylan, Jim's 
family, all the way to equipment refer¬ 
ences. Putting this all together, I real¬ 
ized one of the qualities that make Jim 
Keltner a great musician. It's the same 
quality one finds in the musicians he 
plays with. The quality is heart. Kenneth 
Patchen once wrote, "Be assured — 
whatever happens, I won't lie to you. 
One ends by hiding the heart. I say here 
is my heart, it beats and pounds in my 
hand—take it! I hold it out to you ..." 
Jim Keltner is like that. 

JK: My father bought me an old, used 
Slingerland set, which I wish I had to¬ 
day. The snare drum was practically the 
same as one I'm using onstage. It's an 
old Radio King restored by Paul Jamie¬ 
son here in Los Angeles. He's done one 
for all the drummers here in town. Ev¬ 
erybody has at least one, I think. If I had 
that Radio King shell I'd give it to Paul, 
he'd fix it up for me and it'd be a great 
old drum! But I don't know where the set 
is now. Somebody's garage probably. 

SF: When did you first know that you 
wanted to be a professional drummer? 
JK: It sort of crept up on me. I always 
wanted to be ajazz drummer. That's the 
only kind of music I liked when I first 
started playing. I really hated rock and 
roll. Then it dawned on me after awhile 
that I wasn't going to be able to make it 
as ajazz drummer. Basically, because I 
wasn't another Tony Williams, Elvin 
Jones or Jack DeJohnette. I started do¬ 
ing demos and I felt like it came real easy 
to me. Then they always complimented 
me on the sound of my drums, because I 
was copying Hal Blaine. 

SF: As far as actual tuning of your 

JK: In terms of tuning and the way I 
played, because Hal was playing on all 
the hits that I was starting to listen to at 
that time. I just became very intrigued by 
the whole rock and roll studio drumming 
thing. When people started compliment¬ 
ing me, saying, "Hey, you sound like 
Hal," that's the best thing that hap¬ 
pened. It gave me a lot of confidence and 
I kept on going. It was Albert Stinson 
who really turned my head around about 
jazz. Albert was my very closest friend 
in life. When we first got out to Califor¬ 
nia in 1955, I was thirteen. I met Albert 
when I was fifteen, and we played to¬ 

gether for a long time. He was a bass 
player, and we were like Charlie Mingus 
and Dannie Richmond. We had a little 
rhythm section going, and we played 
occasionally with people like Bobby 
Hutcherson. Then Albert went off and 
became a huge jazz player. Miles Davis 
wanted him at one time. He played with 
all the jazz players and they all loved 
him. He died June 2, 1969 in Boston. I 
was in New York at the time with De¬ 
laney & Bonnie & Friends. 

Albert had moved to Westchester, 
New York to be with his family. During 
that year he first moved, I got very 
depressed because he was gone. He was 
my only touch withjazz. When he split I 
just didn't have anybody to play with 
anymore. That whole year seemed like a 
lifetime somehow. So the year that he 
was gone, I really got heavy into rock 
and roll and joined Delaney & Friends. 
When I got back east, I saw Albert. We 
spent a night hanging out in New Jersey 
and had a great time. The morning after 
the next night, his girlfriend called me 
and told me that Albert had died in his 
sleep. It pretty well turned everything 
around for me. Bill Goodwin came down 
to the club that night and we shared our 
misery and pain. Bill's a fantastic guy. 
I've always loved the way he plays. 

Albert used to say, "Check it out 
sometime. Different personalities in peo¬ 
ple affect their playing. They play pretty 
much like they are." That's very true. 
Look at Buddy Rich! 

SF: People say, "Gee, it's a shame that 
Buddy Rich is the way he is. He plays so 
well." If he wasn't the way he is—he 
wouldn't play like that! 

JK: Let me tell you something about 
Buddy Rich. Everybody says that he's 
real conceited and you can't talk to him, 
right? A few years ago, Emil Richards 
took me and my wife to see Buddy play 
at a musician's night in a restaurant in 
Glendale. All the musicians in town were 
there—especially drummers! So after his 
set—which was incredible—we all went 
back to see him in the dressing room. I'm 
just watching him sitting there and talk¬ 
ing and having been buzzed on how he 
played so incredible. He looked real 
small and kind of vulnerable. So I went 
over and I said, "Can I kiss you, man?" 
I reached down and kissed him on the 
cheek. Everybody in the room was 
thinking, "OH SHIT! WHAT'S JIM 
GONNA KILL HIM!" But he was so 
gracious and beautiful. He understood 
where I was coming from. He could feel 
what I felt in my heart, you know. He is 
an incredible man. Everybody's got a 
reputation of some sort if they're in the 
limelight at all. 

SF: When you wanted to be ajazz drum¬ 
mer, did you practice and strive to be¬ 
come technically proficient? 

JK: Well, there was a guy named Mi¬ 
chael Romero. This guy was playing in 
Los Angeles, all around, just like Albert 
and he was so intimidating to all drum¬ 
mers. Old, young, great drummers— 
whatever! He was just great. He had 
chops that wouldn't stop; he had a con¬ 
ception of how to play, he had every¬ 
thing together. After seeing Michael play 
a bunch of times I remember I almost 
just threw it up. Albert said, "Hey man, 
don't worry about it. This guy's got a lot 
of chops; he can play but don't worry 
about him. You got your own thing. You 
play like Dannie Richmond. It's okay." I 
would see Billy Higgins play a lot. He 
blew me out. I became an instant Billy 
Higgins fan. He played a lot simpler than 
most guys, but had a groove that just 
would not stop! 



I practiced a lot, but mostly listened to 
records. Every time a new Miles or a 
Trane record would come out, I'd get it 
and we'd all sit around and check it out. I 
always wanted to sound like the drum¬ 
mers I heard more than I wanted to know 
what they played. A certain amount of 
technique is necessary to pull that off", so 
I practiced pretty hard. I used to play on 
a pad on the coffee table in front of the 
TV. I'm thinking of taking a few lessons 

SF: It sounds as if Michael was some¬ 
what of a local folk-hero. 

JK: Possibly so. He had a point where he 
was definitely the hero. He had a real 
East Coast sound. We had a great deal of 
respect for some of the principle West 
Coast players, but basically the East 
Coast was where it was at. Michael 

Ke Itne r 

photo by Eric Keltner by Scott K. Fish 



never had a really clean sounding snare 
drum. It always sounded kind of sloppy. 
But his technique was so great that he 
made it work beautifully. There are a few 
guys around who remember him. Most 
of the rock people don't know. 

SF: So you grew up when rock was in it's 

JK: Yeah, I was able to see Elvis for the 
first time on TV. Elvis always did kill 
me. My sister—who is 5 years younger 
than me—played a lot of the current rock 
and roll at the time. That stuff used to 
drive me up a wall. I used to constantly 
belittle her. I'd say, "Hey, I'm gonna 
break your record." I started turning my 
whole family intojazz fiends. It worked 
to a certain extent, but then they had the 
last laugh. 

SF: Was your gig with Gary Lewis and 
the Playboys your first studio shot with a 

JK: That was in 1965. I had been with 
Don Randi playing six nights a week at a 
little club called Sherry's. I really en¬ 
joyed playing with Don, but Gary Lewis 
offered me a lot of bread; $250 a week, to 
play drums so he could step up front, 
play guitar and sing. My first real rock 
recording was with Gary. "Just My 
Style" was the hit from the album. I was 
only with Gary about seven months. 

After that I played with Gabor Szabo; 
then John Handy for a minute, then in a 
group called Afro-Blues Quintet + 1, and 
then a group called MC. I did a lot of 
demo recordings in 1967 and '68. I spent 
most of '69 with Delaney and Bonnie's 
band. In March of 1970 I did a two- 
month tour with Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs 
and Englishmen, and directly after that 
tour I started recording in the studios 
almost full time. 

Another drummer I want to mention is 
Gene Stone. He and Larry Bunker both 
played with Clare Fischer's group which 
was an exciting band at the time. They 
switched on and off, and it was a great 
contrast in styles. Gene had a real easy 
way of playing that really influenced me 
a lot. I related to him real well. That's 
kind of the way I started trying to play 
myself. To hear him on record you'd 
know what I'm talking about. 

SF: When you were frequenting clubs 
like Shelly's Manne-Hole, were you able 
to talk to the established drummers? 
Were they receptive to you? 

JK: Shelly was the easiest drummer to 
talk to ever! He'd talk to anybody about 
anything. I even called him one time and 
his wife woke him up to talk to me. I 
said, "Oh no, no. Don't bother." She 
said, "That's okay. He'd probably like 

to talk to you." So Shelly got on the 
phone, sleepy, and I said, "What size hi- 
hats do you use?" Hejust ran down the 
whole thing and was beautiful. He an¬ 
swered all my questions. I was always 
intrigued by his great cymbals. He and 
Hal Blaine are the two most amiable 
people you'll ever want to meet. They 
love having company. I'm sort of the 
opposite. I keep just with my family 
here. Not really a recluse. We've got 
enough entertainment going on around 
here with three kids. 

SF: I've always felt the family was im¬ 
portant. It used to bother me hearing all 
the horror stories about the difficulties of 
being a musician and keeping a family 

JK: I 'm considered a rarity in that re¬ 
spect because I've been where I've been 
and done all the things that I've done and 
I still have my family together. That's 
what hurt so bad about John Lennon. 
Everybody calls him the genius that he 
was. So prolific and down to earthjust to 
have that ability to lead people without 
trying. John didn't care about what peo¬ 
ple called him, or what people thought he 
was supposed to be doing. That new 
album! Whether you like Double Fanta¬ 
sy muscially or not—however you feel 
about it, it's John singing from the gut. 



Those songs about his family and about 
how happy he was? God Almighty! 
That's an incredible thing! How many 
artists would have the courage to do 
that? "Hey, here's the genius coming 
back! What's he going to do?" And he 
talks about changing diapers and how 
much he loves his wife. Good Lord! 

You're very fortunate if you can have 
a family and maintain it through all the 
things a musician goes through. I'm actu¬ 
ally fortunate to still be alive after some 
of the things that I've done through the 
seventies. I was really hard on myself. I 
guess at one point or another all of us 
were. It's a real great thing to be able to 
sit here and talk and still have a family 
intact. One of the things that John en¬ 
joyed was that I had my family together 
all the time. The few times he was here, 
he really enjoyed it and felt real comfort¬ 
able with the family situation. 

SF: Do you do any teaching or clinics? 
JK: I wouldn't want to right at this time. 

I have a real hard time even helping my 
kids with homework. I just don't have 
any patience. I was teaching in 1961 at a 
music store for awhile. I enjoyed it, 
except my lack of patience got to me. I 
would have moms calling me up asking, 
"Hey, what did you do to my son? He 
came down to the car and he was cry¬ 
ing?" I would say to a student, "Look 
you're not fooling anybody. Your mom 
is paying hard-earned money and she 
thinks you're really interested in this. 
You tell me you're interested, you go 
home, spend a whole week and then you 
don't know the lesson at all! You can't 
fool me. I know you didn't practice." 
And the kid would cry. In some cases it 
worked and in some cases it didn't. 
Another thing, I taught a little kid named 
Jackie Boghosian. We're still in contact. 
He's a psychologist or a psychiatrist 
now. He probably had as much talent as 
anybody I've ever seen. I was 19 at the 
time, and he was ten years younger. He 
could do things I couldn't do! I'd be 
teaching him but he'd be showing me 
little things that I'd cop from him without 
telling him. I had to be the teacher, you 
know. But his folks had bigger plans for 
him; they wanted him to be a doctor. So 
they got their wish. I'm sure he's happy, 
that's the bottom line, but that kind of 
blew me out. He was so talented. Right 
now he could be one of the greatest 
drummers around. 

SF: How would you advise a drummer 
who wanted to get into the studios? 

JK: You talk to any studio player on 
either coast—anywhere—and they'll tell 
you pretty much the same thing. You've 
got to be in the right place at the right 
time, and it's luck. Obviously you have 
to be able to provide what the people 
want. You're working for producers 
when you're in the studio. They're either 
producing a film, record, or a commer¬ 

cial and it's those people that you work 
for. Attitude has as much to do with the 
studio as your playing ability. If you go 
in and you've got in mind, "Hey, I want 
my drums to sound like this, " or "I want 
to play my own thing," then chances are 
you're going to limit yourself. The studio 
scene is definitely geared toward the 
producer. You've got to deal with the 
engineer, the artists and other musicians, 
so it's definitely attitude along with play¬ 
ing ability. But the bottom line is the 
producer and what's best for the song. 

Nine times out of ten, my drums are 
going to sound like the engineer, the 
producer, or the artist wanted them to 
sound. It's not necessarily what I would 
choose myself. If it works for them—it 
works for me. In striving for hit records, 
the producer and engineer have a ten¬ 
dency to check previous hits and copy 
these sounds, although many times the 
musician will try to copy something he 
likes. I have many times. Sometimes it 
works, other times it doesn't. Also, ev¬ 
ery studio has its own personal acousti- 


cal sound and feel. You may find that 
one drum that sounds great in one studio 
might require an altogether different tun¬ 
ing to sound great in another studio. 

I was speaking the other day about a 
comment someone made that all drum¬ 
mers sound alike today. That's not al¬ 
ways the drummer's fault. I was in 
church once watching our kids sing in 
the choir. They had a little band playing 
with a full orchestra, and three choirs. It 
was beautifully done. They had a rock 
drummer playing some of the contempo¬ 
rary gospel things and he was a good 
player, but his drums sounded horrible! 
It sounded like he was trying to copy that 
"studio sound." He had no bottom 
heads and his drums were tuned low with 
a lot of tape on them. Somebody 
should've told him, "If you're playing 
live, make the drums sing if you can!" I 
have heard good sounding one-headed 
toms, but I supposejust like with double¬ 
headed drums you need to take the time 
to get the best out of them. 

SF: Is there any difference in your set-up 
and your tuning when you're in the stu¬ 
dio and onstage? 

JK: A little bit. I like to have my drums 
totally wide open when I'm onstage. Not 

real ringy, but at least so that they have a 
tone. It depends on the kind of band 
you're in and the kind of music you're 
playing. Everything is relative. There are 
no set things. A guy called to ask me 
what kind of heads I use, and what kind 
of snare drum I use. I said, "Well, I have 
17 snares." Not to be bragging about 
how many drums I have, but over the 
years I've collected that many and I'm a 
drum fanatic. I love drums with my 
heart. I appreciate a well-made drum, so 
when I see one I'll do anything I can to 
get it. I was that way when I had no 
money at all. When my wife was working 
and I was doing Bar Mitzvahs and Mexi¬ 
can weddings for $15 to $25 a shot, I 
would make sure that I would somehow 
do something to get a cymbal or a drum. 
Then I never sold them or traded them 
in. As a consequence I have a lot of 
equipment. Seventeen snare drums just 
gives me a choice. I use them for differ¬ 
ent things. It's like asking, "Who's your 
favorite drummer?" That's impossible. 
If I tell somebody that I'm playing one 
kind of drum head today, later on tonight 
I may make a discovery that another 
head is better. Generally, I like Remo 
Ambassadors or Diplomats on my 
snares, and almost anything on the tom¬ 
toms. I make a new discovery of combi¬ 
nations every so often. I'm constantly 
changing things around. But I only use 
Remo heads or an occasional calf head. 

I feel that I have to tune the drums to 
some kind of way that makes sense to 
me. I don't tune in intervals. It's too 
predictable for me. I don't like anything 
that is that predictable. I purposely 
screw-up my drumset sometimes to cre¬ 
ate a change of attitude. I love it when 
the cartage people set up the drums all 
wrong; maybe a small tom on the right 
and a big tom on the left. When I'm 
playing with two or three tom-toms, I 
think of a melodic scale. I get bored with 
the same old descending tones in perfect 
thirds or fourths. It's nice for things to be 
a bit weird to make your attitude change. 
SF: What kind of sticks do you use? 

JK: I used Gretsch 3D sticks for years. 
Then I wanted a little heavier stick so I 
went to Regal 5A, then to 2A, then to the 
ProDrum AB stick which is just a bit too 
long for me. Now I'm using a Regal Rock 
stick which is a little like the old Gretsch 
3D. But it's like when I go to buy a 
coat—it's either too big or too small. 

SF: Have any of the companies consid¬ 
ered making a Jim Keltner model stick? 
JK: Yamaha would do that. I'm sure. I 
don't think I'd really want that because 
I'd be afraid if I didn't dig it, there'd be 
thousands of sticks all over with my 
name which I wouldn't be using at all. I 
change in a second. I need a stick that's 

continued on page 52 






The Set 

by Scott K. Fish Photos hy Tom Copi 

Superlatives are like chuff before the wind in 
describing the drumming of Ed Blackwell, I'm 
sure I could speak with him for days and still 
walk away feeling like we'd never even got 
started. Born and raised in New Orleans, Black- 
well brings the tradition of jazz drumming from 
the roots, adds to it, and takes off into new 
dimensions. He has experience in virtually every 
aspect of drumming, but he is perhaps best 
known for his work with Ornette Coleman. In 
describing his own music, Coleman has said, "I 
would like the rhythm section to be as free as 
I'm trying to get, but very few players so far—on 
horns or rhythm instruments—can do this yet. If 
I don't set a pattern at a given moment, whoever 
has the dominant ear at that moment can take 
and do a thing that will change the direction (of 
the music). The drums can help determine direc¬ 
tion too. Certain phrases I start to play with my 
drummer, Edward Blackwell, suddenly seem 
backward to me because he can turn them 
around on a different beat, thereby increasing 
the freedom of my playing." 

Coleman told writer Nat Hentoff that, "My 
music doesn't have any real time, no metric 
time. It's more like breathing—a natural, freer 
time. People have forgotten how beautiful it is to 
be natural. I like spread rhythm—rhythm that 
has a lot of freedom in it—rather than the more 
conventional netted rhythm. With spread 
rhythm, you might tap your feet awhile, then 
stop, then later start tapping again. Otherwise, 
you tap your feet so much, you forget what you 



hear. You just hear the rhythm." 

That gives a clue as to the development of 
Blackwell's style of drumming. He is by no 
means confined to the role of "Ornette Cole¬ 
man's drummer." He has performed, and con¬ 
tinues to perform, with the best musicians in 
jazz , and he has his own band with a soon-to-be- 
released LP on Sweet Earth Records, incredibly 
his first LP as a band leader! Two recently 
released LP's with the Old and New Dreams 
band {Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Dewey Red¬ 
man, Ed Blackwell) feature some superb drum¬ 
ming. Of that quartet Blackwell said, "After 
leaving this hand, the love I feel from them, 
from the music, lasts the whole year. I feel so 

Blackwell is also teaching at Wesleyan Uni¬ 
versity in Connecticut, a tremendous asset to 
that jazz department, and student drummers are 
very fortunate to have this genius to draw from. 

We met at Ed's office at the University for this 
interview. We didn't get too much into equip¬ 
ment because Blackwell uses a variety of differ¬ 
ent sets. He was playing a four-piece Sonor kit 
when I saw him; 18" bass drum, 8 xl2 mounted 
tom, and a 14"floor tom. His cymbals were all 
Paiste. The hi-hats were 13” Sound Edge 2002, a 
22" Medium Ride with sizzles FO 602, and a IS" 
Thin Crash FO 602. Sometimes he adds another 
22" Medium 2002. 

My opening question was in reference to Paul 
Barbarin, a noted Dixieland drummer who was 
said to have been a tremendous influence on 
Blackwell's drumming. 

EB: Paul was one of the big influences, but there 
were quite a few. Paul had two brothers playing 
drums and he was from a family of drummers. 
But he was the oldest and the most well-known. 
We played beside each other in a club in New 
Orleans. He played with the Dixieland band in 
the big part of the club, and I played in the 
smaller part. Our group played the after-hours 
session, so when the Dixieland band would get 
off we would start. So maybe I would go down 
early and I'd sit around and listen to him play. 
He used to sit down and talk to me a lot about 
the drums and drum rolls; how he played and 
how he learned to play. He was very interesting. 
SF: Was he playing a full drumset at that time? 
EB: Oh yeah. He had two toms, bass drum, 
snare, cymbal, and hi-hat. He played all of it! 
SF: When did you start playing drums'? 

EB: I started playing in high school. A friend of 
mine, Wilbur Hogan, played drums in school 
and he was about two years ahead of me. So 
when I went to school I decided that I wanted to 
play the drums. I used to bang around the house 
on pots and different things, and I really wanted 
to play, but I couldn't read the music. So Wilbur 
spoke to the teacher and told him that he would 
help me with the music and show me all the 
rhythms and the beats. The teacher said alright, 
and let me join the band. For two years Hogan 
taught me a lot about reading and when he left I 
took his position. He had been captain of the 
drum corps. When he left, they promoted me to 
captain. Hogan was another big influence on me. 
He was one of the younger drummers that we 
used to hang around, because he had an uncle 
that taught him to read real early, and he was 

very adept at reading. He wanted to show me 
how to play a paradiddle and what a paradiddle 
was, and what a long stroke roll was. We were 
very tight. 

SF: Were you interested in learning how to read? 
EB: Yeah, I was into it. The only problem was 
that after he left, I was on my own! So I had to 
develop my own reading. It took me longer to 
develop because I didn't have anyone to teach 
me after that. All the teachers around didn't 
impress me as being the ones I wanted to study 
with. So I just listened to Max Roach and 
different drummers and learned to read on my 

SF: Were you playing snare drum in the high 
school band? 

EB: Snare and tenor drums. 

SF: When did you begin to play a full drumset? 
EB: Well, in 1949, two brothers called the John¬ 
son Brothers were starting a rhythm and blues 
group. The drummer they had got drafted, so 
they needed a drummer. A neighbor of mine was 
their uncle and he heard me practicing in the 
house. He told them about me, they gave me a 
ring, I went over to try out. and I joined the 




SF: Up until joining that band you'd never 
played a drumset? 

EB: Never played drumset before. We weren't 
playing anything but rhythm and blues and shuf¬ 
fles. But it was something. That's when I start¬ 
ed. They played all the popular rhythm and 
blues tunes. Their biggest number was "Jazz at 
the Philharmonic," by Illinois Jacquet. One of 
the brothers played tenor sax and that was his 
solo piece. That was always the house closer. 
We always closed the concert or wherever we 
were playing with "Jazz at the Philharmonic" 
because that was the rocker! Everybody loved 

SF: How many pieces were in that band? 

EB: Five. Trumpet, tenor, piano, drums and 
bass. After awhile the trumpet player had to go 
back to college so we worked as a quartet. I 
really enjoyed it. I really began to get very 
interested in the drums. 

There was another friend. Tom Wood, who 
was Wilbur Hogan's cousin. He tried to teach 
me to coordinate the sock cymbal on beats 2 and 
4. That was the hardest thing ever in my life! I 
just could not work that sock cymbal on 2 and 4. 
But after awhile, everything comes when you 
try, and I tried! It worked out. Then my sister's 
husband bought me a drumset that used to 
belong to a girls' group called The Sweethearts 
of Rhythm. His brother was the manager of the 
group. When the group broke up, the drummer 
sold her drums to him and he bought them for 
me. It was a big 24" bass drum, but it was my 
first set and I loved it. I've gone through so 
many since then. I took a sheet and cut it out and 
put it on the bass drum head so it wouldn't 
vibrate so much. It had a very good sound. I 
learned how to tune them very well. 

SF: How did you learn? 

EB: By listening to the sound. I knew when I hit 
it, it would vibrate loud, so I knew I had to 
muffle it. 

SF: Did the Dixieland drummers give you any 
tips on tuning? 

EB: Yeah. Especially Paul. The Dixieland drum¬ 
mers had a way of playing with the bottom snare 
head tuned looser than the top. They played 
with these very small snare drums that must 
have been about 4" deep. They're called Dixie¬ 
land snares and they got a real "snarey" sound. 
They could roll like paper being tom. 

SF: That's backwards from normal snare tuning 
isn't it? 

EB: Yeah, but I guess they used it like that 
because of the size of the drum. I've tried the 
same technique with the normal snare. It de¬ 
pends on how high a pitch you want. Try differ¬ 
ent intonations with the drum. Loosen the bot¬ 
tom head, loosen the top head, try everything! 
Try the same method for the bass drum and tom¬ 
toms. It all depends on the size that you use. 
With a 14" floor tom I find that with the bottom 
head looser than the top head you get a better 
sound and better intonation. If you've got them 
tuned too tight they sound too high. If you want 
to get a bottom sound out of it you have to have 
the bottom head looser than the top head. 

SF: I read somewhere that you once built your 
own drumset. 

EB: Well, I didn't build them. I converted some 
drums. I took a 16" military snare that I used to 
play in high school, bought some hoops for it 
and converted it into a bass drum. I had a tenor 
drum that a girl in school gave me. I put some 
legs on that and made a floor tom-tom out of it, 
and I had the regular mounted tom-tom. Then 
my brother painted it for me and put some 
glistening sparkles on it and made a real nice set 
out of it. I had a lot of fun with that set. In fact, 
Billy Higgins really loved that set. It was nice 
sounding, but it looked like a set of toy drums. 
The tenor drum was a 9 x 13. I think. The snare 
drum was regular. There was an album recently 
published by Harold Batisste called New Or¬ 
leans Heritage: 1956-1966. I'm playing that set 
of drums on the record. 

SF: Who else was in the band? 

EB: Harold Batisste and Alvin Batisste on clari¬ 
net, Ellis Marsellis, and an out-of-town bass 
player. I don't remember his name. We were 
called The American Jazz Quintet, and we 



played all original tunes. Alvin, Harold, and 
Ellis would write all the tunes. 

SF: There's always a similarity in the playing of 
New Orleans musicians. It isn't a sameness , but 
there's always a similarity. Could you identify 

EB: Well, it's the culture. New Orleans has this 
heritage of marching and parading. All of the 
drummers that are born there come up hearing 
that everyday. When I was a kid, every Sunday 
there was a parade. There's a parade for funer¬ 
als, births, deaths. Everything called for a pa¬ 
rade. In a minute people would get out and start 
playing a parade. Naturally, when you hear the 
music, people would gather and a big crowd 
wouldjust follow behind. It was a lot offun. The 
band would come down the street playing and 
you would hear them. You could hear the bass 
drum coming and you knew it was a parade. All 
the kids would have "The Second Line." The 
kids would follow behind the parade, dancing. 
Most of the drummers would come up with that 

heritage, and you can hear it in their playing. 
SF: So it's definitely a military influence. 

EB: Definitely, yeah. It's a marching beat. 

SF: You moved from New Orleans to California 
in 1951? 

EB: Right. Ornette was in California. He left 
before I got there and went back to Texas. Then 
he came back in '53. We started playing together 
because he couldn't find anybody else to play 
with. Nobody wanted to play with him. I 
thought that was amazing. Here's this cat play¬ 
ing all this music and nobody wants to play with 
him! So we got an apartment together. We didn't 
have any musical gigs so Ornette was working in 
one department store, and I was working in 
another. He was driving an elevator and I was a 
stock clerk. So that way, we were able to 
maintain a living while playing. But we'd play 
everyday. The minute we'd get home, we'd get 
right in and start playing, man. 

SF: What topics did you discuss with each 

continued on page 42 

. . . BASS PLAY¬ 



The Evolution 
of the Drum 
Set: Part 1 

by Danny L Read 

The drum set is uniquely an American phenomenon. Al¬ 
though individual components were originally imported; i.e., 
the bass and snare drum from England and Germany, the tom¬ 
tom from China, and cymbals from China and Turkey, these 
instruments had never been combined in such a way as they 
were by dance band, jazz, and theater drummers in the late 
1890s and early 1900s. Other items, such as the bass drum and 
hi-hat pedals, the throne, and various drum and cymbal stands, 
were invented in the United States and reflected the needs of 
the drum set player. The drum set was not "invented," but 
rather it evolved over a period of time, its hardware being 
necessitated by the requirements of the players and the music 

After the end of the Civil War in 1865, military band 
instruments became readily available. Field bass and snare 
drums could be easily and cheaply purchased in pawn shops 
and elsewhere. Parade and circus bands would, of course, use 
different players for bass and snare drums, as did the early 
ragtime bands of the 1890s. The procedure of using only one 
drummer to play both the bass and snare drum was soon 
developed and in its earliest form, without benefit of a bass 

drum pedal, was quite awkward. William F. Fudwig describes 
this method which was in common practice up until about 1920: 
"The bass drum was placed to the right of the player with the 
cymbal on top. They would strike the bass drum and cymbal 
with the snare stick, then quickly pass to the snare drum for the 
afterbeat with an occasional roll squeezed in." Double drum¬ 
ming, as it was called, was used in dance andjazz bands as well 
as by theater drummers. It offered the drummer little chance for 

New Orleans was founded by the French about 1718 and the 
popularity of the military band in France reached its peak about 
the mid-1800s. These facts, coupled with the availability of 
post-Civil War instruments after 1865, made New Orleans quite 
a hotbed for band activity. Bands were used for parades, 
picnics, secret society ceremonies, concerts, dances, funerals, 
and on riverboats. Thomas Shultz has said that "these French 
and Spanish influences (New Orleans was governed by Spain 
from 1764 to 1800), plus the addition of slaves from Africa and 
the West Indies, gave New Orleans an environment which was 
decidedly different from the rest of the United States at that 
time." Jazz was given birth when the music of these predomi¬ 
nantly outdoor bands was brought indoors to be played in dance 
halls, brothels, sporting houses, barrel houses, and saloons. 

Prior to the increasing availability of military percussion 
instruments and before the resurgence of civilian bands, New 
Orleans and other areas of the South were home to another 
brand of band. 

This was called the skiffle or spasm band and its players 
performed on such homemade instruments as the kazoo, Jew's 
harp, washboard, comb and paper, tin cans, garbage cans, and 
any other items which could be easily found around the house 
with little or no expense. Many of these instruments were 
percussive in nature, in that they were played by being struck. 
Several early blues singers recorded to the accompaniment of a 
spasm band, with the harmonica and washboard being the most 
common instruments. Prior to 1900, many black youngsters got 
their early musical training in this manner. 

Photos 1-10 by Ken Mezines 

I) An early Chinese cymbal and hand 
painted tom-tom; two items often used 
by the early jazz drummers. 

2) Hand painted, 
solid-brass temple 
bells, circa 1925. 

3) A typical trap set-up in¬ 
cluded a Chinese cymbal 
and tom-tom, plus wood¬ 
block, cowbell and holder 
by Duplex. 



The function of the early jazz drummer was to mark the beat 
and, as Theodore D. Brown has said, "to supply the rhythmic 
foundation for the various dance steps." The military and 
rudimental orientation of early drummers and the resultant 
rigidity of performance frequently did not blend with the 
polyphonic improvisation of the wind instruments in New 

In an attempt to find new sonorities which would not only 
complement the rhythmic nature of the music but would also 
provide novel and coloristic effects, the drummer began to add 
various "traps" to his outfit. Cow-bells, woodblocks, gongs, 
triangles, anvils, castanets, temple blocks, chimes, and various 
other paraphernalia became part of the trap drummer's equip¬ 
ment. The use of traps to avoid monotony was, in part, 
necessitated by the drummer's lack of skill and lack of equip¬ 
ment to perfect his skill, in regard to the use of bass drum, snare 
drum, and cymbals. Trap drumming reached its peak with the 
big-bands of the 1920s, such as Duke Ellington, Jimmie Lunce- 
ford, Chick Webb, and others, and the theater drummers, who 
provided accompaniment for live acts and silent movies. 

A possible origin of the word "traps" was advanced by H. O. 
Brunn in his description of the original Dixieland Jazz Band's 
drummer, Tony Sparbora (Spargo): "He was the first drummer 
to use cowbells; and his famous kazoo, which he picked up in a 
novelty store in Chicago, immediately set him apart from all 
others of the period. The collection of dolls, teddy bears, and 
miscellaneous gimcracks with which he decorated his drum 
installation established him as a forerunner of the modern 'hot- 

rodder.' Possibly his hoard supplies a clue to the phrase 'trap 
drums,' as anyone falling headfirst into this assortment ofjunk 
in the dark would certainly consider it a trap." Through the use 
of these traps the drummer developed the image of being a 
"musical comedian." As Abel Green and Joel Laurie point out, 
at one time the drummer's trap collection was more important 
than his drumming ability. "In 1915, Earl B. Fuller, drummer 
with the Banjo Wallace Orchestra, was given 64 square feet of 
floor space for his traps, which were worth $1,000." 

Once the enchantment with the trap drums was over, drum¬ 
mers could turn their attention more to becoming an integral 
and artistic part of the jazz ensemble rather than serving as 
freakish exhibitionists. Needless to say, the fact that all of those 
traps made travel quite inconvenient and complicated also 
contributed to its decline. Probably the first drummer to extract 
the full potential of the drum set was Warren "Baby" Dodds. 
His set, which was put together by bits and pieces, consisted of 
a 28-inch bass drum, a 6 1/2-indi all-metal snare drum with 
double tension rods, which allowed him to tune each head 
separately, an overhead pedal, 4 tuned cowbells, a woodblock, 
a slapstick, a 16-inch Zildjian cymbal, and a 10-inch Chinese 
tom-tom. Primitive recording conditions prohibit ajust analysis 
of what drummers really sounded like through the 1920s. In 
Dodds' era, drummers were put in the back of the recording 
studio and could not use the bass drum or snare drum heads at 
all. Most of their playing was done on the snare drum rim, the 
bass drum shell, the woodblock, and a choked cymbal. 

According to William F. Ludwig, Sr., the first drum factory 

4) Basic set-up for 1925. Note the cymbal holder device on the 
far right, and cymbal attached to the bass drum on the lower 

6) L u dwig 
bass drum 
pedal with 
small cymbal 
beater made in 

5) A back view of the 
same set showing 
6 1/2" all-metal snare 



7) An assortment of some popular snare 
drums of the day. Slingerland snare 
made sometime between 1928 and 1933 
(left); early Ludwig & Ludwig (right); 
Wurlitzer snare drum of 1900 (bottom). 

9) Early set-up featuring 28” Duplex 
bass , single-tension toms with tacked 
bottom heads , trap table for temple 
blocks , multiple cowbells and cymbal , 
and intricately hand painted bass drum 

no pedals." 

The Ludwig Drum Company was formed in Chicago in 1909. 
At that time it was known as Ludwig and Ludwig. It was 
formed as a result of a new development in the design of the 
wooden foot pedal. This new design, created by William F. 
Ludwig in 1908, used the forward part of the foot rather than the 
heel to manipulate the pedal. The wooden-heel pedal had been 
hand-made since at least 1894. In 1909 Robert C. Danly, 
brother-in-law of William F. Ludwig, made a metal foot pedal 
from Mr. Ludwig's design and thus the origin of the Ludwig 
Drum Company. 

Several drum catalogs were produced between 1900 and 
1910. "George B. Stone and Son of Boston, about 1900; The 
Dodge Brothers, also of Boston about the same period; Yerks 
Manufacturing Company of New York, about 1905; Novak 
Drum Supply Company of Chicago; Frank Rice Drum Compa¬ 
ny of Chicago; and Dixie Music House of Chicago, all published 
about 1910." 

Two early drum shops were Hammond and Gerlack in 
Pittsburgh (about 1906), and Wright and Kackman, who had the 
first drum shop in San Francisco about 1910. The latter market¬ 
ed a wooden-heel pedal with a double foot board which could 
play the bass drum and cymbals either together or separately. 
Currently, one of the few drum shops to deal in antique 
percussion equipment is the Ken Mezines Drumshop in St. 
Louis. In this shop can be seen such items as a Duplex Bass 
Drum with a metal shell and inside tension rods; a bass drum 
and Chinese tom-tom of the Baby Dodds era with multi-colored 
paintings on the drum shells; a 1920s Ludwig Black Beauty 
snare drum; and an 1880 snare drum called the 20th Century 
Professional. The owners are also assembling an educational 
clinic which, through audio-visual filmstrips, lectures, displays, 
and live performance, will demonstrate the history of drumming 
styles and equipment. 

The first and still the largest cymbal manufacturing company 
in the United States is the Avedis Zildjian Company, which 
began production in Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey in 1623. 
The current factory is located in Norwell, Massachusetts. 

in America was the Excelsior Drum Company of Camden, New 
Jersey, which was started in about 1885 by Joseph Soistman. 
"Soistman was a famous Civil War drummer who designed and 
induced the federal government to adopt the Civil War Eagle 
Drum for all military use." They published their first and only 
catalog in 1899. 

Another early drum company was started by Emil Boulanger 
in St. Louis in 1887. It was called the Duplex Manufacturing 
Company and in its catalog of 1892 it stated that "our house is 
probably the only one in the world devoting its entire attention 
to benefit the double drummer." This was the first drum catalog 
published in America. The Duplex snare drum "was the first 
drum to use transparent heads on the snare side. They were 
called kangaroo heads." 

V. G. Leedy, father of early theater drummer Eugene Leedy, 
started his own drum company in Indianapolis in 1895. He 
invented and patented the first practical folding snare drum 
stand. The Leedy Drum Company also had one of the first drum 
set patents in 1921. This set consisted of a snare drum and one 
tom-tom, both clip-mounted onto the bass drum. 

In the very early 1900s, "the only drum factory in Chicago 
was Wilson and Jacobs who purchased the drum department 
from Lyon and Healy. (They) made only drums, mostly rope, 
including the then famous Monarch Military Drums. They made 

8) A set of WFL 
drumsfrom around 
1930. Note the ad¬ 
vancement in engi¬ 
neering and design 
of tom-tom and 
cymbal mounting 



9 . 


As the drum set evolved, the use and disuse of equipment 
was, to a great extent, determined by the style of music itself 
and by the capabilites of the performers. As new techniques 
were acquired, design changes and improvements in equipment 
were necessitated. 

By the early 1930s, complete drum sets including cymbals 
were readily available. The use of traps was beginning to 
decline; the large field, bass and snare drums were no longer 
used; and cymbals were becoming larger and more of an 
integral part of the drum set. What traps were used "were being 
incorporated into the music as an intricate and appropriate 
rhythmic accompaniment rather than just for the novelty ef¬ 
fect." The Chicago drummers, George Wettling, Dave Tough, 
and Gene Krupa being the three most important, began to 
experiment with the open cymbal. Dave Tough was particularly 
influential in making effective use of the ride cymbal and in 
using larger cymbals than had been used previously. Gene 
Krupa was influential in increasing the importance of the bass 
drum by playing it on all four beats within the measure. 
Leonard Feather has commented that "a mild sensation was 
created upon the release, early in 1928, of four titles by 
McKenzie and Condon's Chicagoans in which Gene Krupa set 
a precedent by including a bass drum in his equipment." 
Krupa's set, circa 1938. included a snare and bass drum, two 
tom-toms, a hi-hat cymbal consisting of two 11-inch medium- 
thin Zildjian cymbals, and four other cymbals: a 16-inch Zildjian 
medium-thick; a 14-inch Zildjian medium-thick; an 8-inch thin 
splash cymbal; and a 13-inch Zildjian crash cymbal. Krupa was 
also largely responsible for developing the drum solo. 

Jo Jones, with Count Basie in the mid-1930s, was one of the 
first to eliminate traps from the drum set. He also reduced the 
size of the bass and snare drum and used the hi-hat cymbal as it 

10) Gene Krupa on the cover of a 
late thirties Slingerland catalog be¬ 
hind the popular model set of the 

11) A youthful Chico Hamilton on 
an early fifties Progressive Jazz 
Outfit by Gretsch which featured 
smaller drums, larger cymbals and 
the famous Rail Consolette small 
tom mount. 

had never been used before, making it the most important part 
of his set. 

The bebop drummers followed Jo Jones in using smaller 
drums and larger and lighter cymbals. "The drumsticks grew 
longer and thinner, and wire brushes fell from favor." 

In the 1950s, West Coast drummer Shelly Manne developed 
"a 'melodic' means of expression abounding in exotic flavoring 
and brilliant colors. Using mallets, brushes, sticks, silver dol¬ 
lars, and fingers, he has pushed back many tonal barriers." 
Because of their versatility in producing coloristic effects and 
softer dynamics, brushes were used frequently by the "cool" 
drummers of the 1950s. 

Swing, bop and cool drummers relied more on cymbal sounds 
for keeping time, rhythmic accentuation, and coloristic effects. 
The hard bop drummers of the late 1950s and early 1960s, as 
well as the current avant-garde drummers, have once again 
emphasized the drum sounds and have placed less emphasis on 
cymbals. This is no doubt the result of an increased African 
influence on jazz which has also resulted in the more frequent 
use of mallets and sticks to evoke this African heritage. More 
subtle techniques, but still of African origin, are the use of 
fingers and hands to strike the drum head and the use of 
African, Oriental, and Indian traps, such as gongs, the Chinese 
cymbal, camel bells, and other exotic paraphernalia. At least 
one avant-garde drummer. Milford Graves, has at times used a 
set with no snare drum. It should be noted that on some 
occasions the small and/or uniquely equipped sets of some 
avant-garde drummers are the result of financial hardship. 

Jazz-rock drummers have both changed the appearance of 
the set and increased its size. Some rock drummers, in order to 
play louder with a more deadened sound, have removed the 
bottom heads of the tom-toms and the front head of the bass 
drum. It is not uncommon for some drummers to use up to eight 
tunable tom-toms, two bass drums, and six or seven cymbals. 
One very practical reason why rock drummers can maintain 
these large sets is that they usually have a band-boy or 
"roadie" to carry and set up all equipment. 

The rock drummer, in further exploitation of the visual 
element, has also used a see-through, clear plexiglass set which 
is available in a variety of tinted colors and allows the audience 
to view his gestures from head to toe. 

The ultimate in tonal color and volume was introduced in 
1977 with the creation of the drum synthesizer. Billy Cobham 
has been a leader in the use of electronic drums as well as in 
expanding the size of the drum set. 

In Part Two of this series, we'll take a detailed look at the 
history and evolution of each individual component of the drum 
set. Part Two will appear in the Feb./Mar. '82 issue of MD. 

12) Some eighty years later, the innovative Billy Cobham 
stands behind his massive triple bass/triple snare set-up, clearly 
demonstrating just how far the drummer of the '80s has come. 






by Robin Tolleson 

Photos by Paul Jonason 

Terry Bozzio has the chops to be an 
orchestra percussionist, a jazz fusion 
burner, or a rock and roll showman, and 
he's shown off each of those sides of his 
talent during an eventful career. 

Bozzio was born in San Francisco 29 
years ago, and his accordion-playing 
father moved the family to nearby Fair¬ 
fax when he was in third grade. He 
attended Drake High School in San An- 
selmo, and the College Of Marin in 
Kentfield, California. After playing in 
the pit orchestra of Godspell for eight 
months in 1973, Terry joined the Latin- 
fusion hand Aztec a. From there, he au¬ 
ditioned for, and was picked to join, 
Frank Zappa's band, beginning what 
Terry calls "unbelievable musical edu¬ 
cation, beyond my wildest dreams." 

Terry did an album and a short tour 
with the Brecker Brothers in between 
dates with Zappa. After leaving Frank, 
he auditioned for Thin Lizzy, and was 
offered that gig, hut couldn't quite agree 
to terms with the band. Terry then joined 
ex-Zappa colleague Eddie Jobson in 
U.K., recording a couple of albums and 
again touring the world. The drummer 
now seeks a record dealfor his new band 
in Los Angeles, Missing Persons (Ken 
Scott produced the band's 4-song EP). 
Terry is also taking students in the Los 
Angeles area at this time. 

TB: The first time I got interested in 
drums was when I saw Ricky Ricardo Jr. 
on the I Love Lucy show, playing bebop 
with his father, or some dixieland or 
something, and then Cubby O'Brien on 
the Mickey Mouse Show. And I always 
wanted to play drums, but I could never 
get a set. I think I had a toy drum set 
when I was really young, but they never 
would give me a real drum set. And that 
kind of persisted on into the time of the 
Beach Boys and surf drum music. By 
that time I had a set of bongos, which I 
would sort of take apart, and put a sheet 
of paper over one of them with a rubber 
band, and make it sound like a snare 
drum. And I had a crumpled up "High 
Voltage" sign from a telephone pole that 
simulated a closed hi-hat. And I would 
work out all the riffs and stuff. And then 
finally when the Beatles came out I knew 
I had to be a drummer. I sort of pres¬ 
sured my father into getting me drum 
lessons. I studied with this guy Todd, 
who's quite a good drummer and teacher 
who plays with the Marin Symphony 
from time to time. And then for about six 
months, I studied with this other guy, 
Ken Blewer, who worked at "Drum- 
land." Then I quit and just played rock 
and roll with garage bands through high 
school. My last year in high school I 
started to read seriously and play in the 
band and stuff. I made it from intermedi¬ 
ate to advanced band in one semester. 
You know, I really got into it. Then I 
graduated high school and went to Col- 



lege Of Marin summerschool. And I 
started studying traps with this teacher 
Chuck Brown, who I stayed with for 
three years or so. He was great. He 
taught me a lot about discipline and 
reading and everything. While I was at 
College Of Marin I played with all their 
trips, instrumental ensembles and the 
jazz band, and sort of turned my back on 
rock and roll. I just listened mainly to 
classical and jazz, and those were the 
only two things I pursued. I majored in 
music, and I was really gung ho—I was 
almost a straight A student. And then 
some friends of mine, Mark Isham, and 
this other trumpet player who introduced 
me to Mark, they sort of turned me on to 
Miles and Coltrane and Tony and Elvin, 
and that situation. Those guys, and the 
people who played with them, are really 
my main influence in jazz. Out of College 
Of Marin I played Godspell for about a 
year, and then joined the band Azteca. 
RT: Did you have to join Local 6 to do 
the Godspell shows? 

TB: Yeah. I joined Local 6 right away 
when I got out of college. I think I had to 
join to do some symphony gigs. My dad 
popped for it, because it is hard when 
you're first starting out. I remember that 
three hundred dollar fee or something, 
and then they don't guarantee you any 
work. It's kind of a strange thing. But I 
was real lucky with working around 
here. Those shows paid real well for a 
long time. And Godspell was set up in a 
way where the band is sort of up on these 
funny little platforms, and kind of hidden 
from the audience. There were only 16 
songs in a two hour show. So 16 three- 
minute songs leaves you tons of time, 
right? So I would go up there with head¬ 
phones and a cassette recorder, and 
practice and work out Tony Williams 
Lifetime licks from this tape thing, and 
write them all down. My whole way of 
learning at that point was sort of to take 
all the drummers that I loved, like Tony 
and Eric (Gravatt) mainly, and whenever 
they would do a lick that I thought was 
really cool, I would write that lick out, 
and practice it, and learn the technique 
involved, and then make up my own 
licks using those techniques. And that's 
probably the main way I learned to do 
what I do, at least musically. That's a 
good thing to do, because that way you 
don't get stuck with just doing their 
licks, but it does open up a lot of doors. 
Because when a lot of people start, they 
hear things and they don't know what 
the hell is going on. You just have to 
listen to that section over and over to get 

RT: So you did study the rudiments of 

TB: Yeah, I mean I never entered con¬ 
tests or did any of that stuff. And at the 
time that I was studying, I always played 
matched grip. So I got a lot of flack, even 

from Chuck Brown and students at 
school and stuff, or teachers at school 
who always thought the proper way was 
the traditional left hand thing. But I 
could always do all those rudiments. I'd 
studied Haskell Harr's books. And then 
I got into Stick Control, which I thought 
was a little bit better practical applica¬ 
tion of that, rather than having all the 
fancy notation. And I studied that, and I 
studied out of Ted Reed's book Synco¬ 
pation, and Louie Bellson's books, and 
this other book Portraits In Rhythm by 
Anthony Cirone. That's a real good book 
for dynamics, and classical snare drum¬ 
ming. Chuck Brown took me through a 
lot of that stuff. I got a scholarship while 
I was at College Of Marin for ten lessons 
with Lloyd Davis of the San Francisco 
Symphony. He used to play with Dave 
Brubeck, so he was sort of like ajazz and 
classical drummer. I studied with him for 
awhile with that Morris Goldenberg 
snare drum book. I sort of went through 


that with him, and some other mallet 
things. And I was pretty thorough at the 
time, you know, with reading and the 
classical technique. I played Bartok's 
"Sonata For Two Pianos and Percus¬ 
sion." I played the timpani part for that. 
And I played with the Marin Symphony 
for awhile. I did a lot of things at the 
College Of Marin, lots of classical 
pieces. I really enjoyed that. And I 
thought I was going to continue on to do 
that, but my first love was always just 
being able to sit down and burn at the 
drums, and that's what's overcome me 
in the long run. 

RT: Did you record any with Azteca? 
TB: No. They had recorded their second 
album, and the drummer wasn't working 
out, so Mell Martin heard about me and 
called me up. And I went in and audi¬ 
tioned for them and got the gig. But it 
really wasn't right. At that time I was 
young and wild, and all I cared about 
was Tony Williams. And so I was sort of 
throwing in everything including the 
kitchen sink, and they were trying to 
make some commercial Latin music. 
And they were much older and more 
mature than myself. They used to call me 

The Kid. "Take it easy, kid, you're 
playing too much." 

RT: Did Zappa hear you in Azteca? 

TB: No. When I was in Azteca I met 
Eddie Henderson, and I started playing 
with him and all these other black jazz 
people around San Francisco. I played 
with Woody Shaw, and Julian Priester, 
Joe Henderson, and Luis Gasca, and 
really had a ball. That was a lot of fun in 
those days. And Eddie used George 
Duke on one of his albums, and George 
said that Frank was looking for a drum¬ 
mer. So Eddie turned me on, and I 
phoned George. I had to fly my self down 
to LA just to audition like the rank and 
file rest of the people that auditioned for 
Frank. It was scary, you know, it was 
ridiculous. I walked in, and I'm this little 
kid from San Francisco. I walk into 
Frank's huge warehouse with this big 
stage, and all this equipment and road 
cases and stuff. And these ridiculous 
charts spread all over the stage. And I 
thought I could pretty much read any¬ 
thing, you know. But I mean this was 
like the hardest stuff you'd ever want to 
see. You know, just the odd groupings 
and odd times, and he had melodic things 
written out around the toms and the 
drums, so you didn't have to read just 
rhythmically—you had to read melodic 
things as well. I thought, "Man, I can 
never do this. I've lost." But then I 
thought, "Well, I've spent the airfare to 
go down here. I'll give it a try." I 
watched a couple other drummers audi¬ 
tion, and they were sort of trying to 
flaunt their chops rather than really lis¬ 
ten to what was going on. So I said, 
"Well, at least I'll listen." I went up 
there, and I fumbled through some 
charts the best I could. There's not too 
many drummers who could sight read 
that stuff, so when a real hard part would 
come, I would just stop and say, "Oh, 
this is this," and I'd play it for him. And 
he said, "Right, now stick it in with the 
rest of it." And I would. We jammed a 
bit and he said, "Okay, you sound real 
good. I want to hear you when I'm 
finished with the rest of the guys." And 
everybody there split, so he said, "Well 
I guess you've got the gig if you want it." 
It was great. He blew my mind by taking 
me to the Record Plant, and out to dinner 
and everything, and showing me this 
huge studio, and the Hollywood way of 
studio life which I had never been ex¬ 
posed to. From there it was like an 
unbelievable musical education, beyond 
my wildest dreams. Because Frank, to 
me, is the heaviest at what he does. 

RT: If you had a drum set in front of you, 
could you play "The Black Page" right 

TB: Right now, no. But I could in about 
twenty minutes. I'd just have to remem¬ 
ber it. With Frank, the audition is a lot of 
pressure, but the way he works isn't like 



studio work. It isn't like having to go in 
and read a chart and play it perfectly in 
two takes, like I would imagine Steve 
Gadd or some of these other people have 
to do. It's more like you rehearse for 
about a month or two before you go out 
on the road. And he's constantly throw¬ 
ing everything at you. You have to be 
really good with your ears, because he'll 
play these really strange things, and you 
have to be able to play them right back. 
And then do them in double time, or half 
time, or put it over three. And he dis¬ 
sects things, and builds them back and 
forth sort of like an erector set. He's 
constantly changing the music. He was 
always bringing in bits and pieces of 
music, and a lot of the stuff is hard, but 
sightreadable. And other things just 
aren't. And "The Black Page" was obvi¬ 
ously something that wasn't. This was 
like his sadistic side going, "Okay Boz- 
zio, let's see if you can handle this." 
Because to him, at that point, it was the 
hardest piece of drum music he had ever 
written, with the most complex rhythms 
and the most bizarre things. He's almost 
taunting everyone to see if the things he 
writes can actually be performed. So I 
could read the rhythms, but the melodic 
thing was nuts, because he wrote it spe¬ 
cifically for my big double bass, five 
tom-tom set. And there were all these 
notes going up and down, and whatever. 
RT: Did Frank ever present anything to 
the band that could not be performed? 
TB: Well, it depends. Frank hires differ¬ 
ent performers to perform certain func¬ 
tions in his band. Napolean Murphy 
Brock and Ray White and people like 
that, they aren't necessarily heavy-duty 
classical musicians. Whereas the rest of 
the band sort of has to be, as well as 
having rock and roll and all these other 
influences to draw upon that he kind of 
demands. So he was always bringing in 
things and saying, "Okay, you guys 
can't do this." But I felt I could always 
do whatever we did, and I did. I did his 
orchestra concert at Royce Hall, this 40- 
piece orchestra that had four other per¬ 
cussionists besides myself on drum set. 
After you get your feet wet with his 
music, much of it is all the same. It's like 
it reaches a point of difficulty that you're 
used to working with, and then it's no 
sweat—once you can learn to recognize 
sevens and nines and put them over 
whatever other denominator you want. 
Now he's better than that. He's got this 
thing called "Herb's Vacation." I don't 
think it's been recorded yet, but it's 
ridiculous. Vinnie Colaiuta, who is now 
my favorite drummer, plays that with the 
bass player and one other person. It's 
really off the wall. It's ridiculously hard, 
some parts are very fast, and it's melodi- 
cally very difficult. It's like Zappa said, 
"This is to make 'The Black Page' obso¬ 

RT: Did you leave Zappa to join the 
Brecker Brothers' band? 

TB: No, I did that on a break, as a matter 
of fact. When Zappa's band played with 
the Brecker Brothers, it was automatic 
hook up, you know. We just really dug 
each other, and had loads of fun playing 
in the solos and stuff. And they sat 
behind me, and watched me burn 
through all these shows in New York. 
They said, "Look, we're going to be 
doing some stuff, and we'd like you to 
come and play with us." So when we 
had a break with Zappa—he wasn't do¬ 
ing anything all through the summer—I 
was contacted by them, and I said I'd do 
it. So we went out on tour. It was 
probably the most fun I've ever had in 
my life, muscially, playing with them. 
With Zappa there's a lot of depth and 

kind of a different thing. But for me, 
coming from jazz and fusion music, that 
was my chance to really get my rocks off 
and play all the stuff that I had digested 
from listening. So we went out, and with 
Neil Jason and Barry Finnerty, we just 
burned every night for a whole month. 
When I finished that tour and their al¬ 
bum, I went back with Frank. And that 
was when he had hired Mars, and Wolf, 
and Ed Mann, and Adrian Bellew, and 
we did that year, which was my last year 
with Frank. 

RT: Did you record anything after that 
with Frank? 

TB: I know Sheik Yerbouti was done 
during the last gigs I played with Frank. 
But then it wasn't released for quite 
some time, until after I was with U.K. 
Frank's situation is pretty screwed up 




Yours Ears? 

Story & Photos by Jim Dearing 


The drum advertisements read, "powerful . . . resonant . . . 
increased projection . . cuts through . . . full vibrating . . . 
massive shells," and the cymbal ads are right behind with 
"strong high-end accents," and "brilliant crashes!" 

By far the greatest occupational health hazard confronting 
drummers are the drums themselves. Not only are drums being 
made bigger and better than ever before, but they are also being 
made louder. Much, much louder. 

But how loud is too loud? Will you still be able to hear when 
you are sixty? Are you unconsciously killing your tiny hearing 
nerves? If you sometimes feel a ringing sensation in your ears 
after drumming, then chances are that your hearing has already 
been altered to some degree. Due to the physiological make-up 
of our auditory system and the explosive intensity levels of 
drums, drumming can undetectably and irreversibly damage 
our hearing, though a variety of modern ear protection devices 
provide an excellent alternative to serious hearing loss or even 

Our ears give us a special sense. Paul Rankin, while conduct¬ 
ing research at Ohio State University, concluded that 70% of all 
our time is spent communicating, of which 9% was writing, 16% 
was reading, 30% was speaking, and 45% was attributed to 
listening. Yes, our hearing is important, and especially as 
musicians, since listening and interpreting is our art and liveli¬ 

Physiological Properties of Hearing 

Though the ear can adapt to an amazing diversity of sound 
intensity, it has not been able to keep evolutionary pace with 
industrial-age noise. Noise resulting from our modern societies 
has suddenly skyrocketed only during the last sixty years, 
whereas the ear structure has slowly evolved over millions of 
years. Today, more than 16 million Americans suffer from 
noise-induced hearing loss; another half a million are thorough¬ 
ly deaf from noise exposure. What wonderful, versatile, sensi¬ 
tive tools our ears are. so that we may detect even the softest 
touch of a brush on a drumhead, yet hear again and again the 
freshness of a loud crash cymbal. As you might suspect, the ear 
must be a highly complex structure to accomplish all that it 
does. You are right. 

For analyzation, the ear is conveniently divided into three 
sections: the outer ear, consisting ofthe external visible "shell" 
and the auditory canal which ends at the eardrum; the middle 
ear, a hollow cavity in the skull containing the three tiny ossicle 
bones commonly referred to as the hammer, anvil and stirrup; 
and the inner ear, which begins at the oval window and houses 
the semi-circular canals and cochlea. Sound transmission al- 



Acoustic nerve 




Eustachian tubes 


top—This diagram shows the middle ear and inner ear. After 
traveling through the auditory canal, soundfinally reaches the 
staples (stirrup) and is vibrated through to the cochlea, where 
actual hearing takes place. High frequencies are picked up by 
nerve cells near the beginning of the cochlea, whereas low 
frequencies must travel around the turns to the apix ofthe 

bottom—This drawing depicts the entire hearing system: outer 
ear, middle ear and inner ear. Damage from loud drumming 
will only effect the inner ear. 

ways follows the same path: sound pressure enters the auditory 
canal and stimulates the eardrum, causing it to vibrate. The 
hammer, which is attached to the eardrum, passes this sound 
"wave" along to the anvil, that in turn passes the wave to the 
stirrup, causing the oval window to move back and forth in 
rhythm. The ossicle bones, eardrum and oval window all 
amplify the sound wave; thus the intensity is much stronger 
than when it first struck the eardrum. As sound is transmitted 
through the oval window, it pulsates a fluid called endolymph 
inside the cochlea. It is here in the cochlea where the Organ of 
Corti, or nerve cells, are actually located. These nerve cells lie 
on the basilar membrane that runs the length ofthe spirals in the 
shell-shaped cochlea. The endolymph carries the sound waves 
along the basilar membrane until the waves stimulate the 
appropriate nerve cells; then the message is on its way to the 
brain and transmission is complete. Complications occur when 
the wave passing through the oval window is too great, causing 



violent undulations which throttle the basilar membrane. 

"Overall, it would be best to look at losses in three different 
ways," states Dr. James McCartney, an instructor of audiology 
at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). "In the 
ossicular bones we have conductive loss. Another type of loss 
would be sensorineural, or nerve loss, and the third type of loss 
in the ear is a mixture of the two. If you have any type of loss in 
the ear canal or if the bones are malfunctioning or slow, the 
conduction of sound from the outer ear to the inner will be 
impeded; thus a conductive loss. Almost all types of conductive 
loss can be corrected or reversed. 

"Loud noise, unless it is so loud as to rip the eardrum, is not 
going to damage the ear canal, eardrum or the three tiny bones. 
What loud noise damages is the inner ear, by whipping the 
basilar membrane until some of the nerve cells just die, and this 
sensorineural loss is not correctable. It is irreversible. All of 
this is something that a drummer isn't going to notice for 

Will Your Ears Survive Drumming? 

Though humans have the potential to hear frequencies be¬ 
tween 20-20,000Hz, most of us only hear between 40-15,500, 
and within this range the ear is especially sensitive to certain 
frequency bands. To accurately measure sound then, we must 
use a specially weighted scale which corresponds to our ear's 
sensitivity. This is the A-weighted decibel scale which ranges 
from 0-140dBA. This spectrum represents the entire range of 
sounds to which our ears respond. 

"The pitches we use to communicate range from 500- 
3000Hz," says McCartney, "so our communicating is a rela¬ 
tively small band out of our 20,000Hz potential. 15,000 I can 
barely hear. It is a very high, shrill whistle. You normally don't 
hear anything like it." 

One drummer who has a particularly unique insight into the 
topic of audiology and drumming is Dave Shaffer, a private 
drum teacher and an active drum & bugle corps percussionist. 
The twist is that Dave holds a Masters Degree in audiology. 

"The difference in sound energy between 115dBA and 
121dBA is not a small increase," warns Shaffer, "it's a big 
increase. There's a distinct difference between loudness and 
intensity. Loudness is our perception of sound—intensity is the 
actual energy which enters the ear. 121dBA is not twice as loud 
as 115, but the intensity and sound pressure has doubled. Also, 
as you go higher on the decibel scale, the magnitudes of energy 
increase substantially. For instance, the difference between 115 
and 121 is much greater than the difference between 40 and 46. 
Anything over 100 takes a lot of energy to get that 6dBA 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
is responsible for authorizing permissible sound levels in the 
workplace. Currently, OSHA requires that workers be exposed 

Drum set peak decibel levels 


Mic taped to head 

Mic in front 
15ft. away 




tom 1 



tom 2 



floor tom 






















Dr. Don Hall, physics professor at Sacramento State Universi¬ 
ty, watches as a Moseley Autograf translates a narrow band 
frequency analysis from the Bruel & Kjaer analyzer, shown 
here with a snare drum reading on the screen. 

no longer than eight hours at ninety decibels, and for every five 
dB increase, exposure time must be cut in half. The Environ¬ 
mental Protection Agency, however, maintains that OSHA 
limits are too lax. According to Kenneth Feith, the chief of 
General Products Branch, Standards and Regulations Division 
of the EPA, seventy-five dBA is deleterious. Both agencies are 
currently working toward a nine hour, eighty-five dBA compro¬ 

So what about drums? 

Though there is a wide variance in the following drum set 
dBA levels due to individual preferences in sticks, heads, 
drums, style and strength, we clearly exceed the OSHA guide¬ 
lines for safe sound exposure. CSUS physics professor Don 
Hall agreed to test dBA levels of my drum set with a micro¬ 
phone taped to my head, to determinejust how intense sound is 
at a drummer's ear. The drums I used were Pearl Wood- 
Fiberglass shells, sizes 8 x 12, 9 x 13, 16 x 16 and a 22" bass. 
The snare was a 5 x 14 Rogers Dyna-Sonic, and all drums were 
double headed with Remo CS Batters on the top sides. The 
cymbals were all Zildjian: 14" hi-hats, 15" crash, 20" pang and a 
22" ride. The sticks were Regal Tip Rock models. Dr. Hall 
diligently recorded peak levels on a Bruel & Kjaer Frequency 
Analyzer type 2107, and the campus science building shuddered 
as I began to drum. Recorded values: snare—HOdBA: first 
tom—100; second tom—100; floor tom—100; bass—93; hi- 
hat—96; crash—102; pang—99; ride—92; simultaneous drum¬ 
ming—112 dBA. 

Not exactly within OSHA guidelines, is it? 

As a matter of fact, OSHA warns that at levels of 115dBA, 
people should only be exposed for fifteen minutes per day! John 
Cambra, who formally mixed stage monitors for the Ronnie 
Montrose Band, told me that with all the amps, drums and 

OSHA permissible exposure 

Duration per day (hours) Sound level dBA 











1 1/2 






1/4 or less 



0-10,000frequency spectrum reading of a snare drum. Each 
tiny square represents 100Hz across; thus the high energy 
reading for the snare is seen at 300Hz. 

monitors at performance level, dBA readings on stage typically 
exceeded 130dBA. John added that none of the musicians ever 
wore any ear protection, although he did. 

When calculating safe dBA levels, intensity (sound energy) 
interacts with length of exposure, but intensity is the primary 

"Duration and intensity are both factors in sustaining hearing 
loss," says McCartney. "You and I could sit and talk for a very 
long time (assuming we didn't get bored), and not sustain any 
loss, but once we reach the higher dB levels the trade-off 
between duration and intensity begins. 

"140 dBA is generally considered the threshold of pain, and it 
is believed that at this intensity, for no matter how short an 
exposure, damage will occur. At 140, no matter what pitch the 
sound is, I should experience pain." 

"I've had a lot of noise exposure," comments Shaffer, 
"because I didn't understand about audiology until I was 
twenty, and I'd been drumming since I was six. No one ever 
told me that drumming could damage my hearing." 

Even though we are subjected to intense sounds for longer 
than recommended periods, McCartney sees our specific per¬ 
formance times as an asset. 

"Any recuperation between exposures is good. By taking a 
fifteen-minute break in between 45 minute sets, as musicians 
do, it might result in less damage than if you drummed three 
hours straight. Intermittent exposure is no worse than constant 
exposure, and in fact could be less harmful." 

Casual drumming often results in a "ringing" sensation in the 
ears, called a temporary threshold shift. When I circulated a 
hearing questionnaire throughout Sacramento music shops, 
96% of the musicians responding affirmed that at some time, 
they've experienced a ringing in the ears, and approximately 
30% admitted that such ringing was common after performing. 
This ringing sensation is not necessarily cause for alarm— 
unless it is common. 

"Yes, that's a temporary threshold shift," confirmed Dr. 
McCartney when I described the feeling to him. "Your thresh¬ 
old is the softest sound you can hear about 50% of the time. 
Anything from 0-25dB is considered normal on an audiogram. 

"Let's pretend your hearing is normally zero, meaning you 
have really nice hearing. If you've tested after being exposed to 
a loud noise, your threshold may now be 30dB. which means 
that a sound must be 30dB louder before you can actually hear 
it. That's a "shift" in your threshold, but these shifts are 
temporary, given that you stay away from that loud noise for 
six, eight or twenty-four hours. Now when your hearing is 
retested, it will be back to normal." 

0-10,000frequency spectrum reading of all three toms played 
simultaneously. Notice the high energy peak at 100Hz., and how 
quickly the line drops off, indicating very little high frequency 

The casual or weekend drummer will feel the ringing sensa¬ 
tion moreso than the six-nights-a-week drummer since the 
casual drummer's ears are allowed to bounce back to their 
original sensitivity. For the drummer who is exposed constantly 
night after night, the temporary shifts accumulate and become 
permanent, resulting in a new hearing threshold. He won't 
notice the ringing as much because his hearing will develop a 
tolerance to the incoming sound energy. Dave Shaffer remem¬ 
bers the feeling well. 

"I can recall playing and having my ears ring like crazy, and 
most all of us can. That sensation is indicative of our little hair 
cells being damaged or killed. The bands that play at these 
incredible decibel levels—that's just damn loud. If you need on¬ 
stage volume that loud to feel good, maybe you should think 
twice about playing. As a musician, you don't want to lose any 
of your hearing, because as you age you'll really feel the loss. 
I'm going to want to listen to music when I'm sixty, and I'll bet 
that most musicians would agree. If we damage our hearing 
now, music will sound distorted to us later. 

"Ringing in the ears is another sure physiological sign that 
the sound is too loud," adds McCartney. "If you subject your 
ears to this volume again and again without allowing time for 
recovery, this will certainly lead to hearing loss." 

Which sound frequencies—low or high—are most annoying 
to you? When I hear a screaming transistor radio or a raspy, 
cracking tweeter I instinctively cover my ears. A crash cymbal 
just seems louder than a floor tom, but as far as your ears are 
concerned, it is the low frequency energy which wreaks the 
most havoc on your nerve hairs. 

"Whether it's trucks, airplanes, cafeterias or drums which 
you're around, it is the lower pitch sounds which will cause ear 
damage," says McCartney. "When the staples (stirrup) pushes 
into the oval window, fluid moves the basilar membrane, which 
causes hearing. Remember, this basilar membrane has the 
nerve cells on it. The nerve cells on the membrane near the 
staples respond to high-pitched frequencies. The low-pitched 
frequency receptors are all the way in the back, at the apix of 
the basilar membrane two and one-half turns of the cochlea 
away. The reason that low frequencies are so damaging is that 
high frequencies only stimulate the receptors near the base, 
whereas the lower frequencies, as they travel around inside the 
cochlea, stimulate the high frequency receptors in addition to 
stimulating the lower frequency receptors." 

To understand this, it was helpful for me to picture being in a 
corridor or bathroom at a concert. Remember how you can feel 
the bass even when you're not in the audience, but the high-end 



Drum are loud all over the frequency spectrum, as this overall, 
everything-at-once line shows. The snare and toms provide the 
highest peaks, at the low-end of the scale, while the cymbals 
show a great deal of high-end activity. 

disappears? That's what the ears receive—that pounding low- 
end, even though it seems as though the high-pitch sounds are 

Another seemingly odd fact is that the powerful low frequen¬ 
cies cause damage to the high-frequency receptors. 

"The way the cochlea is structured with two and one-half 
turns, the force of the sound waves is directed right at the first 
bend, which contains receptors for 4000-6000Hz," says 
McCartney. "All of this energy moving through the cochlea 
forces the fluid to hit against these cells, destroying the 4000- 
6000 cycle hearing range, which is quite high." 

Problems of Hearing & Drumming 

One of the most frustrating problems with detecting an 
incurred loss is that the loss goes unnoticed by the affected 
person. How do you tell a drummer who still hears fine that part 
of his hearing response range is lost? How do you relate the 
importance of the loss? 

"It is so insidious—insidious in that you don't know what's 
coming when it has already happened!" stresses McCartney. 
"The reason you don't know it's coming is because the 
frequencies you lose first are not needed in communication. 
You'll hear people talking just as you always have." 

Even though you'll still be able to hear voices fine, the 4000- 
6000Hz sounds of your drum set won't register in your ears. For 
instance, over a period of time your cymbals will begin to sound 
different to you because they are predominant in this affected 
frequency range. Since the change will be gradual, you won't 
even notice it, but your perception of the cymbal sound will be 
markedly different from that of your audience. This fact would 
have devastating consequences: suppose you tune your snare to 
where it sounds crisp and bright, but later when you perform, 
the other musicians complain about a loud, fuzzy overtone— 
and you can't hear it! By developing a partial hearing loss, we 
lose control of our instrument. 

"What people don't notice, they are not going to correct," 
adds McCartney. "You could go five years playing the drums 
without noticing a loss if your susceptibility is low enough. All 
of the documented hearing studies are based on five and ten 
year periods—there's no data on hearing damage one year 
down the line, so consequently people ignore the data. This is 
the problem: eventual hearing loss which is caused now, but 
attributed to old age." 

Complicating detection is that most noise-induced hearing 
loss is painless. Only at dBA levels of 130 and above is pain 
usually felt, and many people don't feel pain until 140. At our 

- - 1 

- 1 - 

i \ 


0-10,000 frequency spectrum of the cymbals played simulta¬ 
neously. Notice the contrast to the drum spectrums. Here, the 
bulk of energy is heavily concentrated in the 3100-5700Hz 
range. When Dr. Hall set the machine to read activity up to 
200,000Hz., the cymbals showed a great deal of activity in the 
inaudible range. 

usual 105-12()dBA on-stage volume, the ears will not hurt, but 
painless damage will be accumulating. 

Sensorineural damage is irreversible, but if you have already 
sustained noticeable hearing loss, a hearing aid can assist in 
amplifying remaining weak sounds. 

"It is an old fallacy that nerve cell damage cannot be 
benefitted by a hearing aid," says McCartney. "A hearing aid is 
simply an amplifier." 

Hearing aids consist of a microphone, amplifier, receiver, 
battery and ear mold, all fitted into a small usually undetectable 
unit. Aids vary in style, from internal (all-in-the-ear) to external 
(behind-the-ear). and include eyeglass-mounted aids and the 
larger, "body" aids usually only recommended for extreme 
sensory loss. 

To qualify information on hearing loss, it must be noted that 
noise susceptibility varies greatly from individual to individual. 
All the published OSHA and EPA guidelines are averages based 
on the majority of the population. Currently, no method of 
predicting individual susceptibility has been established by 
audiologists. Even so, taking the position that, "It won't 
happen to me," is presumptuous. Dave Shaffer knows many 
drummers who assume that since they can still hear fine, their 
nerve cells haven't been damaged. 

"A common misconception which I run across is 'My ears 
are tough,' and this is an easy position to take because hearing 
loss is painless and very gradual." 

Our working conditions and usual stage position are veritable 
mine fields to our ears. Just think about it: loud, high-pitched 
horn sections, the constant droning of rhythm guitars, electric 
pianos and the dangerous booming of the bass cabinet (which is 
usually postioned at our immediate side). Now add in the P.A. 
monitors and the drums. What an audible arsenal attacking our 
ears! While testing dBA levels at CSUS, however. Dr. Hall and 
I did discover that although sound energy is very high for 
drummers, the other musicians around the drummer are run¬ 
ning an even greater risk. With a microphone placed approxi¬ 
mately fifteen feet in front of the drum set. the drum set 
components most damaging to hearing were noticeably louder 
than the levels recorded while the mic was taped to my head. 
These components (the toms and bass drum) project outward, 
so the results were predictable. The floor tom, projecting 
downward, yielded results equal to the first testing. All of these 
drums produce the low frequencies most harmful to auditory 
nerve cells. 

continued on page 78 



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The Elder 
of Jazz 

by Scott K. Fish 

William "Sonny" Greer was born in 
Long Branch, New Jersey on December 
13, 1903. "1 wasn't no rich kid." he 
remembers, "but 1 was always comfort¬ 
able. We were a happy family. My moth¬ 
er and father were very religious. My 
mother was strict with us. My old man 
was a 'glorified reprobate!’ My father 
could make wine, beer or whiskey out of 
a door knob! 1 had two sisters and one 
brother, and the love was spread equally 
among all of us." 

Sonny was the heartbeat of one of 
America's greatest orchestras, the Duke 
Ellington Orchestra from 1923 to 1951. 
Certainly one of the best big-band drum¬ 
mers in jazz, Sonny played a huge set of 
drums for that era, always in a musical 
and often comical manner. His replace¬ 
ment in the Ellington Orchestra was 
Louis Bellson! 

Sonny lives with his wife Millie, who 
he met at The Cotton Club in the '20s. 
They are both charming, funny and 
sharp people with a keen memory of 
their past, and Sonny is still active. He 
spends time away from his Manhattan 
apartment to play gigs with his friend, 
pianist Brooks Kerr. Kerr is virtually a 
walking encyclopedia of Ellingtonia and 
was present for part of this interview. 

1 had been listening to some 1920s 
Ellington music the night before and 
began the interview by asking Sonny 
how it was different playing with a tuba 
player and then with a bassist. 

SG: There's only so much a tuba player 
can do. He can't cover a lot of things like 
a string bass player. Impossible! We 
didn't use tuba too much. We used two 
bass players. See, a bass player can 
cover more ground than a tuba player. 
So there was a lot of things that he could 

do. A tuba player could only do so much. 
A string bass player can cover a whole 
lot of stuff—like a piano. 

SF: What was the difference between 
playing with bassist Wellman Braud and 
Jimmy Blanton? 

SG: Like night and day. Jimmy Blanton 
was a bass virtuoso. He was so good, 
that when we played in Boston, the 
Boston Symphony's bass player, Kous- 
sevitzky would come to see Jimmy. He 
was one of the head bassists of the 
Symphony, and he'd heard so much 
about Jimmy. Duke could always smell 
the powerful guys. Koussevitzky was a 
good bass player, but Jimmy Blanton 
was the King! Duke was slick. Duke 
would put Blanton up front early. Kous¬ 
sevitzky had come backstage and got a 
chair and had the man put the chair right 
on the stage next to Blanton! He never 
heard anybody play bass like that. No¬ 

See, Braud played different and Jimmy 
played different, but together they were 
a powerhouse! They only turned each of 
them loose when they wanted solos or 
something. Then in the forties it was 
just Blanton playing bass. Braud left in 

SF: How did you first get interested in 

SG: When I was a kid I saw this vaude¬ 
ville act named J. Rosmond Johnson. It 
was just a piano and drum. They had a 
very good act, and the drummer was tall 
and very, very debonair. He could sing 
like a mockingbird and I'd never seen 
nobody play drums like that. I'd sit in a 
trance. Everything this guy did was ef¬ 
fortless and with so much grace. They 
were at the theater for a week and I'd see 
them every night I could. 

About the same time, I use to sneak 
into a pool room and practice pool be¬ 
cause it fascinated me. I was only 14 
years old. The same man who was play¬ 
ing drums was in there and I beat him at 
pool. He said, "Hey. kid! Where'd you 
learn to play like that?" I said "Oh. 
nothing to it. It's a lot of concentration." 
He said, "You show me how to play like 
you play, and I'll teach you how to play 
the drum!" This man was my idol. I said, 
"You got a deal." I had about five or six 
lessons with the guy to get the funda¬ 
mentals of it. 

SF: Were you listening to much music as 
a kid? 

SG: I was so busy getting into the devil 
that I didn't have a chance to listen to 
music. It wasn't like it is now. I always 
loved music. We had a pianola in the 
house, where you'd put in a piano roll. I 
thought that thing was the end of the 

When I was in high school, we had a 
big orchestra for assemblies and things. 
All the kids had violins and the drummer 
was the worst guy in the band. I didn't 

pay him no mind. He was the dumbest 
guy! He wasn't smart in classes. He used 
to use an excuse to get out of classes, "I 
got to practice." He'd always tell the 
teacher, "I got to practice music," and 
he'd get out of classes in high school. I 
knew I could beat him. He was horrible. 
He couldn't do nothing. So the music 
teacher, the woman who had started the 
orchestra, decided to give me a shot at 
the band. She was also our language 
teacher, and I was one of her good 
pupils. Out of a completely integrated 
school, I was the only colored boy in the 
band. I never in my life played with a 
colored band until I moved to Washing¬ 
ton, D.C. 

We had a little group out of that or¬ 
chestra, eight guys. They could play and 
read. We had two girl singers. I used to 
do everything I could to make some 
money then. I also worked for a China¬ 
man delivering laundry. I had a paper 
route. Fishing boats used to come into 
the New Jersey shore and everyday after 



Photo at left shows Sonny with the Washingtonians in the '20s. The photo at right 
shows Sonny behind the elaborate set he used with Duke Ellington. 

school I'd be down there running errands 
for the fishermen. They'd load my little 
homemade wagon with fish and I became 
the fish man of the neighborhood. I also 
used to run errands for the grocery store! 
I was never afraid to work. I was never 
lazy. I was always on the go. Obsessed. I 
always wanted to make money to give to 
my mother and father. 

I also used to caddy. They rated the 
caddies, and I was a number one caddy 
at a very private club. I used to caddy for 
one of the daughters of Krueger—the 
biggest brewery concern in the East at 
that time. One day we was out on the 
course; I was carrying a heavy bag. They 
didn't have no golf carts. So we're walk¬ 
ing along and we got to the 8th hole in the 
rough! This girl couldn't play golf any¬ 
way. You know how them rich people 
are. They had a water hazard on the 8th 
hole and she knocked the ball in there. 
She said, "Caddy! Go get my ball." It 
was one of those golf balls that floated. 
So I took off my shoes and I was getting 
ready to step in the water when I saw a 
snake! He was in the water with the golf 
ball in his mouth! I'm deathly afraid of 
snakes. She said. "Caddy! Go get my 
ball!" I said, "No. You go get it." I quit 
right there on the 8th hole. Threw them 
heavy bags down and walked back to the 
golf club. 

The same woman saw me years later 
playing with Duke at Carnegie Hall. She 
came back to say hello. She told every¬ 
body, "He was my caddy." People 
would say, "Aw, you're crazy. He ain't 
caddied for you." 

After my father saw that I was dedicat¬ 
ed to music, and that I wasn't going to 
follow in his footsteps as an electrician 
for the Pennsylvania Railroad, he said. 
"I don't care what you be—but be the 
best! Don't let nobody suppress you." 
As I progressed playing the drums I 
began to get better and better. 

SF: When did you move to Washington, 
and how did that come about? 

SG: When I was a kid, one summer I got 
ajob with four kid musicians working as 
the pit band at the Red Bank Theater in 
New Jersey. I grew up with Count Basie 
and Cozy Cole. Basie always wanted to 
be a drummer. He and Cozy used to get 
into the theater for free by saying they 
were my helpers. They'd sit in the pit 
with me. I had about three pieces. Count 
would take one of my drums, Cozy 
would take one, I'd take one, and they 
wouldn't have to pay. Then I had ajob at 
the Plaza Hotel in Asbury Park, New 
Jersey. The Conway Brothers—who 
were famous then—invited me to Wash¬ 
ington for a weekend after the season. So 
I went down there. The second day 
there, I was playing pool (my first love) 
in a poolroom next to the Howard The¬ 
ater. All of a sudden the manager from 
the theater came in saying, "Man, I've 


always at the head of the stage. So I blew 
him down, man. He ain't never been out 
of Washington, but I was talking about 
New York and Fats Waller, Willie The 
Lion, James P. Johnson. I say, "Man, 
they're my bosom pals!" Lying like a 
dog, I say, "Man, we hang out all the 
time." Their mouths flew open and I did 
spread it on real good. You know how 
Duke is. I took to him, and after that 
whenever you saw me—you saw Duke, 
and Toby. We were not a band, but if 
Duke got a gig I was on it. If Toby got a 
gig I was on it. And I still had the other 

One night we had an amateur contest 
at the theater. The prize was something 
like 25 dollars. Duke knew two songs, 
"Soda Fountain Rag" and "Carolina 
Shout" that he had down pat from a 
piano roll. I went over to the pool room 
and told all the guys that I wanted them 
at the theater as a cheering section. I 
said. "When Duke goes on he's got to 
win that prize because we need that 
money!" So Duke comes on and plays 
his "Carolina Shout" and those guys 
stood up, stood up, and cheered, and 
scared Duke to death. Duke said, "I got 
the money." I said, "Give me mine." He 
said, "For what?" I said, "Didn't you 
hear all that noise? That was me back 
there, man." So we had a big spread in a 
restaurant, and ajug of corn whiskey. So 
everytime they had a contest. Duke'd 
say, "Hey! You going to bring on the 
cheering section?" I said, "Yeah." 

One night at a different theater they 
didn't have no money. The prize was 
luggage. I said, "What're we going to do 
with all this luggage? Ain't nobody going 
nowhere." So we brought the cheering 
section down and Duke won the luggage. 
We took it and pawned it. Duke used to 
look at me in amazement. 

Toby used to have this raggedy jalopy 
that you had to push a half block to get it 
started. There's a big park in Washing¬ 
ton called Rock Creek Park. President 
Wilson was in there, in one of those long 
Pierce-Arrows. We had the car rolling 
down a hill to get it started and the 
brakes go out! We're rolling down and I 
say, "Man, roll into a tree or something. 
Stop this damn thing." We're going 
down the hill and we see all these Pierce- 
Arrows going somewhere. But we can't 
stop the car! All the FBI and everybody 
jump out of their cars. They didn't know 
what was happening. The FBI had the 
whole convoy stopped, the President 
and everybody. Toby run the car into a 
tree, and we get out and the FBI says, 
"What you kids doing?" Now we're 
scared! I say, "Mister, the brakes failed. 
That's why we come down the hill that 
THE PRESIDENT?" "Yes sir." Oh, 
you talk about somebody Uncle Tom- 

continued on page 68 

got to have me a drummer. My drummer 
has been run out of town by his wife. 
He's back on his alimony." The drum¬ 
mer was a fancy drummer named Tootie 
Perkins—playing with an all Puerto Ri¬ 
can band. I went in there and that was 
the first time I saw Juan Tizol. I stayed 
there for three years playing shows in the 
pit. We would play until 11:00 PM. Then 
I got a second exclusive gig from 12:00 to 
2:00 AM and that's when I met Duke. 
When I was headlining at the Plaza Hotel 
with the Swanee Sernaders, Duke was a 
dishwasher there. I didn't know he was a 
piano player! I didn't come in contact 
with no dishwasher! I was a star! He 
never lived that down. I used to kid him 
all the time. 

SF: Let's go back for a minute. When 
you were in school did you study percus¬ 
sion and reading? 

SG: We had a very strict teacher. She 
taught everything exact—the basics and 
rudiments. She was very fine. She taught 
everybody how to read music. It wasn't 
nothing difficult, just an average thing. It 

wasn't difficult music. Very simple. 

SF: So after high school, that was the 
end of your formal studies'? 

SG: That was it. I knew what direction I 
was going. Nobody could tell me noth¬ 
ing. Kids in my time were more interest¬ 
ed in playing the right way. The kids now 
don't take it like we did. I never prac¬ 
ticed out of school when I was home. 
Man, ne-ver! I'd have gotten killed if I'd 
banged on some drums around the 
house. I had it down and I'd practice on 
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me. Duke was always quiet and shy, but 
they had a little guy there, one of the 
Miller brothers. He was like Jo Jones, 



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Stickings—Part 1 

Gary Chaffee received his education at SUNY in Potsdam 
and DePaul University in Chicago. From 1973-77. Gary was 
head of the Percussion Dept, at the Berklee College of Music in 
Boston. He presently teaches at his home in Hyde Park, 
Massachusetts. He's the author offour hooks: The Indepen- 

by Gary Chaffee 

dent Drummer, and Patterns: Vol. I, II, and III. Vinne Colaiuta 
(Frank Zappa, Gino Vanelli) and Steve Smith (Journey) are two 
of Gary's former students. Ml) readers can write to Gary at GC 
Music, 30 Laval Street, Hyde Park, MA. 

Due to the many changes that have taken place in contempo¬ 
rary music over the last 20-30 years, it seems appropriate to re¬ 
examine "stickings," to develop a more comprehensive and 
useful approach to this area of a percussionist's early training. 

A "sticking" is an articulation or a way of making a group of 

notes sound. Just as a horn player uses different articulations to 
play figures, a drummer can play a sequence of figures in a 
variety of ways by using different stickings. This will have a 
major effect on what the figures sound like and on the phrasing. 
For example: 



* * m d d d j 


ft L ft R L ft L L ft L ft RLfi L Lift LRfl L H L L ft L ft ft L ft LL 





-4 L 

In Example 1 the sequence of 16th notes is played using the 
traditional paradiddle sticking. In situations where the rhythm 
and articulation are identical there is no phrasing. In Example 2, 







the sequence is articulated with a series of 5 and 3 note stickings 
which creates a definite phrasing. There is also an implied poly¬ 
rhythmic sequence. 

- 4 :S 

j j j 

-r r 

4 : i 

J J J J 


Using stickings is not difficult and can he applied to a single 
rhythm or group of rhythms. Using stickings allows for a 
greater degree of flexibility on the drumset for how the various 
sound sources (toms, cymbals, etc.) are combined. We will now 
examine how a sticking system can be developed. 

The hands are going to have to develop a fairly high degree of 
flexibility and control. So it is necessary to understand the 
various stroking procedures. There are basically 4 types of 
stroke motions, as follows: 

Full (F) 

Starts and ends in a 
high position 

Down (D) i t 

Starts high and ends 

Up (U) I 1 

Starts low and ends 


Tap (T) * f 

Starts and ends in a 
low position. 

The Full and Down strokes are used for playing accents. The 
Tap and Up strokes are used on unaccented notes. 

This lifting system is designed to get the hands to move 
quickly and precisely to execute a figure or phrase. The 
majority of technical/control problems most students have are 
primarily the result of excess motion. Every motion takes time 
and energy. The more precise and specific you are, the greater 

the potential for increased speed, dexterity, endurance, and 
overall ease of playing. 

The relative heights of the stroke motions are affected by 
dynamics. There are situations where these motions need to be 
altered. They will work for most situations, however, and are 
well worth the time and effort needed to master them. 



Basic Sticking Possibilities 

The majority of compound stickings in this system are made followed by double strokes. Group B has two singles, Group C 

up of single and double strokes broken down into groups, has three singles and so forth. The following examples illustrate 

related to their distribution. Group A contains one single stroke basic sticking possibilities: 

Group A 


Group B 









Group D 



It is necessary to understand that stickings are not rhythms. 
They are simply groups of notes. The goal is to be able to use 
stickings in any rhythmic situation. This is how phrasing is 
derived. Notice that all of the accents are on single strokes. 
This has to do with the lifting procedures discussed. Putting the 
accents in other places makes them much more difficult to 
execute. That is not really necessary or practical except in some 
cases I'll discuss later. Even though all the patterns contain 
accents, that doesn't mean that whenever a sticking is applied. 



accents should be used. Accents are valuable in learning the 
patterns because the motions give each pattern a certain "feel." 
The accents make it possible to interpret without additional 
notation or symbols. There are many instances—especially on 
drumset—when the patterns can be used effectively without 
accents. It would be easy to develop larger stickings of 9, 10, 
11, 12, 13 notes for these groupings. The motion principles 
would essentially be the same. 

continued on page 36 



JDW continuedfrom page 35 

Examples of Sticking Usage 

The following examples indicate possible uses of the stickings in various situations: 

1) 3 and 5 note stickings from Group A. 16th notes. 


sm sm sm sm - n ty 5T. 


* m 





2) 7 and 5 note stickings from Group A. Triplets. 

__ 3 3 _ 3 3 


M. — m. 


L R R L L R L L R R L L (R) 



• — m. 



rn m tti m \ U3 n 


3) 6 and 4 note stickings from Group B. 16th notes. 





4) 7, 5, and 4 note stickings from Groups A, C and B respectively. 16th notes. 


5) 6, 8, and 6 note stickings from Groups B, D, and D respectively. Triplets. 


jjjjjjjjji m j j j l j j * 




R L R 



In the next article we will examine ways to apply these stickings to the drumset. 




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Part 2 

by Roberto Petaccia 

In the last article we talked about ambidexterity in the 
context of time keeping. Let's now analyze it in contexts other 
than time keeping. 

Using Ambidexterity in the Context of Soloing 

Most of the time, partial ambidexterity is used within a 
soloing situation, even though, as in the case of Daniel Humair 
(see further on in this article), some drummers will occasionally 
resort to total ambidexterity. The goal here is to have both 
hands equally strong to be able to crash a cymbal easily with 
either one. 

There are two principal ways of using partial ambidexterity 

when soloing: with Single Strokes and Compound Stickings. 
Both ways are used extensively by many known ambidextrous 
drummers; Billy Cobham (left hand lead); Simon Phillips (left 
hand and right hand lead); Terry Bozzio (right hand lead); 
Vinnie Colaiuta (right hand lead). The following examples are 2- 
bar solos reflecting closely the soloing styles of the above 

The two following examples are played on the snare drum, the accents at random. 




y— y m 

■mm mn 


R L R L R 
L R L R L 

R L R L R L R 

Using Single Strokes in the Straight and Triplet Feels 

Now substitute a crash for every accent. Obtain a line of 

alternate accents on two different crash cymbals, positioned 
conveniently on the left and right sides of the drum set. 











Crashes 12 


Snare _ X *.9 9 X 9 9 9_ X 9 9 X X 9 9 X X 9 9 X X 9 9 9 

B.D. tS 




The following examples are variations of the previous two. stroke executed on the snare (unaccented notes). The 16th 

Substitute a double stroke roll using 32nd notes for every single notes on the crashes will remain the same. 


>> > > > > 

^ yj 






Using Compound Stickings in the Straight and Triplet Feels 

Compound stickings are combinations of single and double followed here. First play the 2-bar solos on the snare drum with 

strokes. For example, a paradiddle is the simplest form of the accents placed on the single strokes. Then substitute a 

compound sticking. cymbal crash for every accent. 

The same procedure used in the preceding examples is 


lrrlrrl lrllrllrl 



torn to 







continued on page 40 



Rock V Jazz continuedfrom page 39 



As I pointed out, there are drummers who resort to total 
ambidexterity to create counter-rhythms and polyrhythmic 
figures while soloing. 

The next example is a close representation of one of French 
master drummer Daniel Humair's many soloing styles. It im¬ 
plies two related patterns; one improvised, played with the left 

hand on the bell of the left ride cymbal, snare and tom-toms; 
and the other pattern remains constant, played in the form of 
16th notes with the right hand on the closed hi-hat. Daniel plays 
a left-handed drum-set, with hands uncrossed; right hand lead 
when playing on the hi-hat, left hand lead when riding on the 
cymbal. A truly unique style of total ambidexterity. 






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Using Ambidexterity in the 

In my two articles I have analyzed the advantages of ambi¬ 
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Blackw ellcontinuedfrompage 17 
EB: We used to talk about the different 
players that we liked. Mostly it was 
Charlie Parker, Max Roach and people 
like that. That was our whole conversa¬ 
tion! All the time about music. Every¬ 
day, Ornette would write so many tunes. 
He would come up with a new tune and 
we'd get together and go over it and over 
it, play it and play it, until we got it down 

SF: It must have been frustrating to have 
all that creativity and have no one taking 
it seriously. How did Ornette deal with 

EB: It was more frustrating for me than it 
was for him. He took it very calmly. 
They had about three different clubs that 
would have jam sessions on Sunday. 
Everytime we would walk in there, the 
rest of the musicians would walk off the 

SF: It would be just you and Ornette on 
the bandstand? 

EB: Just Ornette and I. Nobody would 
come up there and play with us. I could 
go up by myself and they would let me 
play, but if Ornette came up with me 
they'd say, "No, no, man." Because 
they just couldn't do it. They couldn't 
use him. 

SF: Would Ornette ever play straight 
bebop tunes? 

EB: No. Ornette was writing tunes and 
he was playing his tunes. That's all. For 
some reason, at that time nobody could 
use it. He was a rebel. We never could 
play with a bass player. We never would 
get a bass player to even attempt to play 
with us. The only time we'd get a bass 
player was if we could guarantee him a 
job. If we said, "Okay. We're going to 
be working at this club. Come on down 
and let's do a rehearsal before we do the 
gig," well, then maybe we were able to 
get one. Bass players would say, "No 
good, man. I can't deal with that." They 
couldn't hear it. Ornette and I had a lot 
of fun together though. We didn't miss 
them at all. We'd play together and we'd 
have a ball. 

SF: Were you practicing drums by your¬ 
self as well as working out tunes with 

EB: I didn't have time. Most of the times 
I was on the drums it was usually playing 
with Ornette. When we were awake, we 
were always playing. If we were not 
playing, Ornette would be sitting down 
writing a tune, or we'd be discussing 
music, or listening to music—different 
tunes. But that was it. As far as practic¬ 
ing by myself, maybe I'd practice on the 
pad while he was writing. But most of 
the time we were practicing together. 

SF: How did you develop your melodic 
concept on the drumset? 

EB: Well that started to develop when I 
started listening to the way Max Roach 
played the drums: the way he developed 



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melodic lines along the structure of the 
tunes. I just enhanced it more by playing 
with Ornette. But I had a good concep¬ 
tion of how to play a solo along a struc¬ 
tured tune. The only difference with Or¬ 
nette is that the way I had been playing 
was structured differently than the way 
he played. So when I started playing 
with him, I had to change around to a 
whole new concept of playing. I thought 
that was very interesting because it was 
challenging. It kept me interested in 
playing with him. There was never a dull 

SF: Did things start to break for Or¬ 
nette's band when you played that first 
famous gig at The Five Spot? 

EB: Billy Higgins came with Ornette to 
The Five Spot. Then Billy ran into trou¬ 
ble with his cabaret card. They denied 
him a card, and when you didn't have a 
cabaret card you couldn't work any¬ 
where that alcohol was being sold. 
That's when Ornette sent for me again. I 
was in New Orleans and I was ready to 
leave. I'd had some problems there. Me 
and my wife were put in jail for misoga¬ 
my. They were talking about giving me 
five years of hard labor, just for living 
together. I was out on bail and my wife 
was pregnant. So we went to the 
NAACP and had them talk to the lawyer, 
who guaranteed that if there was a trial, 
we would come back. So we got permis¬ 

sion to leave and that was it! At that time 
Ornette was calling me to come to New 
York, and I couldn't wait to get on the 

SF: How did you meet Billy Higgins 

EB: When we lived in Los Angeles we 
used to go over to this big garage owned 
by a friend of Don Cherry. It was set up 
like a studio. He, Don and Billy used to 
rehearse in there. When we got hooked 
up with Don, we started rehearsing up 
there and Billy was there at the time 
sitting around digging the music. Then he 
began playing with Ornette. When I went 
back to New Orleans, Billy got the gig, 
and they made the first album. Ornette 
had sent for me to make the album, but I 
was playing with Harold (Batisste) and I 
didn't want to leave. I was having a lot of 
fun. So he made the album with Billy. 
SF: I've often read that you were a 
"teacher" to Billy Higgins. 

EB: In a way, I guess, because I was the 
only one that he could dig playing with 
Ornette. Billy was hooked up playing an 
all-together different style from Ornette. 
So by listening to me play, he was able to 
adapt to Ornette's way of playing. 

SF: The first record I ever heard you 
play on was Avant Garde with John 
Coltrane and Don Cherry. I was listening 
and thinking, "That drummer is playing 
with a stick in his right hand and a mallet 

in his left hand." I'd never heard that 
done before. 

EB: That was the way I had to play in 
New Orleans. I used to wrap a Scholl's 
corn pad around the edge of the stick and 
make a mallet out of it. That way, when 
I'm playing I could just turn the stick 
over and get a mallet sound. I like the 
contrast between the stick and the mal¬ 
let—the hard and the soft sound. I used 
to play like that a lot. 

SF: Were you using a stick with a 
Scholl's pad on that album? 

EB: No. that was a mallet. You could 
play and turn the snares off and get a 
tenor drum sound all around the drumset 
using the mallet sound. It brings out the 
real intonation of the drum, unlike the 
stick. With the stick you get that harsh 
sound. With the mallet you get a soft, 
round sound that brings out the full into¬ 
nation, and that's what I dug. 

SF: When you play, do you approach a 
particular tune with any specific ideas in 

EB: I always went according to where 
the music was going. I knew ultimately 
what I wanted to do with the drums 
when I got into the tune. Then I could 
hear what I wanted to do. and the way I 
wanted to go with it. Otherwise, every¬ 
thing was always by ear. I never had any 
preconceived idea of the way I wanted to 

continued on page 56 



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Born and raised in Rome, Italy, Ro¬ 
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1968. After having spent 6 years in the 
Far East, he moved to the U.S. in mid 
'76. Since then, he has written a hook 
(Progressive Steps to Progressive Funk, 
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drum studios in Boston and N.Y.C., 
toured and recorded with the Mark-Al¬ 
mond Band and Maynard Ferguson. 

That was a "short biography" that 
Roberto sent to the MD offices to use in 
his articles. The first time we heard from 
Roberto was through a letter: "My name 
is Roberto Petaccia and I am contacting 
you in regards to my interest in writing 
for your magazine." I called him up 
because he had many good ideas. From 
his pictures, I'd imagined Roberto to be 
a gruff sounding individual—but he 
wasn't. He was a softspoken man with a 
direction. We kicked around some ideas 
and he submitted several articles, some 
of which have already been published in 
the Rock V Jazz . Clinic column. The 
ideas were great and the manuscripts 
that Roberto handed in were near impec¬ 
cable, but he would always apologize for 

He had an insatiable desire to learn 
new things and to take on new chal¬ 
lenges. He saw ambidexterity as a stan¬ 
dard practice in the future of drumset 
playing. He would sneak his little tape 
recorder into New York City clubs two 
or three times every week and tape the 
drummers so that he could study them, 
and he wasn't afraid to ask questions of 
the players he respected. One night we 
sat watching David Garibaldi (one of 
Roberto's main influences) playing some 

pattern that only David can play. After 
the show. Roberto had David write the 
pattern out for him. and he passed it 
along to everyone in his article Ambidex¬ 
terity Part I. 

When Roberto found out his time was 
limited, I spoke to him at the hospital. 
He had interviewed drummer Roland 
Vasquez and he was excited about the 
possibilities of conducting more inter¬ 
views for MD. He had plans of going 
back to Italy for recovery and told me, 
"Well, I guess you guys are going to 
have someone interviewing all the great 
Italian jazz drummers!" 

Roberto's dying was far too fast. But, 
true to the character of the man, he left 
us with many, many good ideas. In an 
interview with Cheech Iero last year, 
Roberto said, "You have to put all the 
comments behind you and try to play the 
best you can. Play the music the way you 
hear it. There will be some people you 
will be pleasing, and there will be people 
who you will upset. Hey, tough! What 
else can you do? Some people have 
incredible suggestions. You do them be¬ 
cause they're great. It's a lot easier to 
change a concept than a technical thing. 
If you're versatile, you can move around 
a concept suddenly if you believe in it. If 
you do not believe—you'll never get it 
right. You must search for the best one. 
Sometimes the composer would come to 
me with a concept which is different than 
what I would play and as far as he's 
concerned, it's the best one. Then that's 
the one you are going to go for. Make 
sure you believe in it so that you're going 
to play it like there is no tomorrow. 
That's the way I see it." 

Roberto is survived by his wife, Pat. 






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Tips and Myths 

by Roy Bums 

A cymbal is a complex instrument. 
The techniques for playing cymbals mu¬ 
sically are as varied and precise as the 
cymbals themselves. What is required is 
an understanding of what each type of 
cymbal can do. For example, if a young 
rock drummer selects a thin 16" crash 
cymbal, he may not be aware of some 
important points. Most cymbal crashes 
in contemporary groups are played in 
unison with the bass drum, which may or 
may not be miked. The same cymbal 
which sounded so great in the music 
store is now beginning to get lost in other 
sounds. Add electric bass, and a 16" 
cymbal begins to sound like a 10" splash. 
The drummer hits it harder to get more 
volume and the result is a cracked cym¬ 
bal. All major cymbal manufacturers tell 
me that in truth, very few cymbals are 
ever defective. They do replace some 
cymbals, but more often than not for 
good will, not because there was any 
fault with the cymbal. Think of it this 
way. If you were going to buy a car, you 
would try to get as much information as 
possible before making a decision. A 
cymbal in some ways is more complex, 
certainly more sensitive, than a car. 
However, drummers routinely walk into 
a store and say, "Give me a 16" cym¬ 
bal." For loud players, an 18" medium 
will produce more sound and have a 
longer life than a thin 16" crash. 

General Information 

1. Read all of the cymbal literature put 
out by all cymbal companies. There is 
much valuable information. 

2. Recognize that there is no such 
thing as a small, thin cymbal that is 
extremely durable. Small cymbals must 
be played with sensitivity and a sure 

3. Loud players will need larger, 
thicker cymbals to achieve the volume 
and durability required for their style. 

4. Contemporary cymbal stands are 
heavy and solid. Some have enlarged 
tilters and extra-large wing nuts. Check 
to see if the center hole of the cymbal has 

enough clearance to allow the cymbal to 
move. Older, lighter stands helped ab¬ 
sorb the shock of heavy blows by mov¬ 
ing a little. Make certain that the cymbal 
can move freely, especially crash cym¬ 

5. Don't muffle the sound of your 
cymbals by using over-sized felt wash¬ 
ers. They act just like a piece of tape. 

6. If you need to play at extremely 
loud volume levels, mike the drums and 
cymbals carefully. A good sound man 
can help you achieve the sound you want 
without overplaying your cymbals. 

Cymbal Myths 

All strange theories and romantic 
ideas are just that. They are rarely based 
on experimentation, comparison, obser¬ 
vation or hard information. People like 
to feel important and will repeat virtually 
anything they have heard without check¬ 
ing it out first. 

1. Cymbals do not improve with age. 
They just get dirty. The dirt acts as a 
muffler and reduces some of the high 

2. Cymbals cannot be aged. Cymbals 
are made from bronze, not cheese. A 
piece of metal does not change charac¬ 
teristics just because you put it in a 

3. You cannot improve the sound of a 
cymbal by adding rivets to it. A bad 
sounding cymbal will make a bad sound¬ 
ing sizzle cymbal once the rivets are 
added. Other weird theories, such as 
burying the cymbal in the ground for 
weeks or months is ridiculous. And buff¬ 
ing cymbals on a buffing wheel to clean 
them will ruin them. 

Selecting and Testing 

1. Place several cymbals on stands. 
Mount them flat or level to the floor a 
little above waist high. 

2. Look to see if the cymbal rests level 
on the stand. If it tilts to one side or the 
other, it is heavier on one side than the 
other, or it is not correctly shaped. Ei¬ 
ther condition will tend to produce un¬ 

even and unpleasant sounds. 

3. Spin the cymbal around on the 
stand. If it is correctly shaped it will be 
pretty level. If it dips a lot as you spin it. 
it will probably have a distorted sound. 

4. Tap from the bell to the edge. The 
pitch should get lower as you get closer 
to the edge of the cymbal. It should 
sound like a musical scale. If it does not 
go down in pitch uniformly, run your 
fingers over the cymbal from the bell to 
the edge. If there are extreme high and 
low places in the cymbal it indicates 
thick and thin areas and the cymbal will 
produce a distorted sound. 

5. Tap around the cymbal in a circle, 
the same distance from the edge. The 
cymbal should have about the same pitch 
all around. Take care to tap each beat 
with the same force. In this way, the test 
will be more accurate. 

6. Crash the cymbal to hear if it has a 
good mixture of sounds from high to low. 
If you find a good cymbal that stands up 
to this test pretty well, then all you have 
to decide is, "Do I like it?" 

Protecting Your Cymbals 

The edge of a cymbal is the most 
delicate part. Many cymbals are cracked 
during packing and set-up. Don't lean 
cymbals against the floor tom with the 
edges on the floor. Instruct roadies to 
pack up the cymbals first in leather, 
vinyl or padded cases that protect the 
edges during transport. Pack the drums 
after the cymbals are safely packed. 
Don't leave them lying around where 
they can be stepped on. 

Last but not least, always select cym¬ 
bals with the drumstick that you normal¬ 
ly play with. 

Remember, a cymbal is a complex 
instrument. A good drummer is a com¬ 
plex musician. He must be sensitive to 
his cymbals. A good drummer instinc¬ 
tively understands that although he 
needs excellent instruments, it is the 
manner in which he plays that will bring 
great cymbals to life. 

I'll have more cymbal tips for you in 
future articles. m 



MD readers can write to Hal Blaine in 
care of: Staving In Tune, Modern Drum¬ 
mer Magazine. 1000 Clifton Ave., Clif¬ 
ton, NJ 07013. 

Q. Although I have pretty good tech¬ 
nique, when it comes to making music I 
feel very inadequate, both in playing 
with other musicians and in private ses¬ 
sions. I don't feel that my timing and 
sense of groove are good. I have prob¬ 
lems playing with a metronome. I am 
also not very creative and it often seems 
like I'm playing the same rhythms and 
licks day after day. Sometimes I think it 
might be because I became interested in 
the drums for the drums and not for the 
music. My approach to the instrument 
was very technical and had no soul or 
direction. I am frustrated because I can¬ 
not play the instrument and make music 
the way I would like to. I am currently 
studying with a teacher who opened my 
head up. I would appreciate ideas and 



A. First of all you've got to start think¬ 
ing positive. If you start putting yourself 
down, man, you're going to be down. 
You've got to start putting yourself up. 
A good way for you to start doing that is 
by listening to records of all different 
kinds of music and find out which music 
really turns you on. Listen to what the 
musicians are doing, and get in there and 
study and practice. It sounds like you 
need practice. Practicing with a metro¬ 
nome is great and eventually that will 
help your time. You have to learn to do 
things unconsciously because that's 
when it all starts happening for you. 
Think back to when you first started 
riding a bicycle—shaky and scary! 
"Wow. I'll never get this." Little by 
little, the more you practice, the better 
you get, and before you know it you're 
doing it. When you have learned to play 
your drums without saying, "I'm going 
to put this hand over here, etc.," that's 
when you're going to start getting some 
of the confidence you might be lacking 
now. We all have moments where we 
feel inadequate. The fact that you're 
working with a teacher is fantastic. I 
really think it's a matter of practicing, 
keeping yourself up, and listening to lots 


of music. 

I really don't think you sound hope¬ 
less. Whatever you do—do it with fervor 
and give yourself some confidence. 
When you hit a cymbal— hit it! Don'tjust 
kind of "ding" at it. Give it a good cut, 
man. Seldom do you hit a cymbal with¬ 
out hitting the bass drum at the same 
time. Give it the bottom it needs. When 
you hit your snare —go for it! If you want 
to play a back beat —play a hack beat. 
Give it a slam! Let's hear it. Don'tjust 
play like you're playing on eggshells. 
That's a lot of baloney. If you want to be 
self confident—get in there and start 
hitting. I'm sure your teacher will help 
you with that. 

Q. I want very badly to be happy and to 
subscribe to your way of thinking, but 
here's my problem: I've conditioned my¬ 
self to play down my achievements and 
reject the feeling of satisfaction in order 
to avoid a false sense of security. I tried 
to find things to complain about. This 
theory didn't really hurt me when I was 
learning note values and studying the 
lessons my teachers would give me in 
college. All I needed was perseverance. 
Now, I've become so cynical of every¬ 
thing, I cannot genuinely enjoy or get 
enthusiastic about anything anymore. 
My work has truly become work. I love 
drums and music and I want more than 
anything to play. Please help! 

A. One of the things that I've always 
enjoyed was playing my ass off and 
screaming and enjoying it so much; get¬ 
ting rid of the stress and feeling wonder¬ 
ful about it. One of the things that 
knocks me out is to play as good as I can, 
as hard as I can, and walk away with that 
feeling of elation. I think you're making a 
big mistake by holding back and keeping 
yourself from really feeling a sense of 
accomplishment. That's what is making 
you a cynic. It sounds like you're a 
terrific drummer who's worked hard and 
studied. I think you should enjoy it. 
Whatever you do—do it with authority. 
Here's one thing that happened to me: I 
was on the road with Simon and Garfun- 

by Hal Blaine 

kel, who would come off stage and there 
would be 50,000 people screaming that it 
was just the greatest concert in the 
world. They absolutely loved it. And 
Paul and Artie would come off stage and 
one old son-of-a-gun would be standing 
in a corner with a broom—a guy who 
absolutely hated music, and hated to 
work that Sunday night anyway—and 
he'd be standing there sweeping and 
saying, "Well goddamn these rock and 
roll kids. What the hell does anybody see 
in them anyway?" And that would blow 
the whole night for these superstars who 
wrote and sang some of the greatest 
music in the world. One old fart can turn 
around and do a thing like that to you. 

You can't let that happen to you, man. 
You have to love yourself. You know if 
you're good or terrible. It sounds to me 
like you're pretty good. Don't listen to 
the crap and don't be a cynic. Enjoy 
yourself and other people. Try to like 
things around you. That's what this 
whole world is made up of. No matter 
what happens—try to get something 
good out of the experience. The worst 
thing you can do for yourself is to put 
yourself down and become your own 
worst enemy. 

Q. I am playing a gig at a local club. My 
group has been there two weeks; a fairly 
new band. We always get compliments 
on how together we are musically. But 
when we are playing and I see people 
leaving the club it frustrates me, and I 
lose my concentration. Or I might ask 
the bartender, "How's the crowd?" and 
he'll say something like, ' 'Bad." It really 
ticks me off and I can't seem to do 
anything right behind my kit. 



A. I've spent many years in nightclubs, 
and not all bartenders and clubowners 
are going to be your best friend. It 
sounds like soon you will have a good 
following and the attitude will change. 
Certain club owners don't want to let 
you know how good you are because 



you're going to want more money! You 
can't get frustrated and let that mess up 
your playing. If you have a near miss in 
an automobile you're still driving. A 
miss is as good as a mile. Nothing is all 
up or all down. Get used to it, especially 
working in nightclubs. People come to 
nightclubs to drink and have fun. It's not 
like a concert where everyone is watch¬ 
ing you play. The more these things 
happen the less they should bother you. 
Your attitude should be, "We're a good 
group, we're entertaining, we're doing 
what we're getting paid for." You're 
probably being underpaid but that will 
probably change. Stick with it and have 

Q. I have been playing drums for quite a 
while and at 19, I'm at the point of giving 
them up. It looks like too hard a life. I 
have diabetes and it's hard to live a 
carefree, spontaneous, musician's life. 
I'm very shy and don't relate well to 
people because of my diabetes. Emo¬ 
tions have a lot to do with a tight control 
of the disease and I try not to let things 
upset me. Also, travel will be hard with 
diabetes. I love playing the drums, it's 
the only thing I do moderately well. I'm 
afraid of not being able to do something 
that I enjoy as much. My dream is to be 
involved in commercial and movie drum¬ 



A. Diabetes is not a simple situation, I 
understand that, but it sounds like you're 
really hooked on drums, and the plea¬ 
sure that you derive from playing is 
important to you mentally. Being happy 
mentally will help the physical diabetes 
problem. There are a lot of people who 
have diabetes—senators, congressmen, 
airline pilots—who have it under control 
and travel the world. The road is not that 
easy, but by the same token, neither are 
the studios, working the hours that one 
has to work sometimes. I've never had 
to deal with diabetes, but I know a 
number of studio musicians who have 
diabetes. They're reliable, safe, and peo¬ 
ple hire them all the time because these 
people are in control of the diabetes. 

Everybody wants to be in the studio, 
but to be in the studio, you need the kind 
of experience gained from being on the 
road and playing. You seem to have set 
your goals on the studio. I think it's just 
a matter of sticking to it, not quitting, 
and not giving up. A musician's life is not 
always carefree and spontaneous. I think 
you're making a big problem out of a 
small problem, but by the same token, if 
you feel drums is too tough a life . . . 
only you can answer the question of 
whether you should do drums or go into 
something else. I think drums will help 
your shyness, your diabetes situation, 
and keep you mentally stable. But, if it's 
too hot—get out of the kitchen. i±i 


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Keltner continuedfrom page 13 

just about the same weight as the Regal 
Rock stick, but a tiny bit fatter and about 
38" longer. Maybe Regal will read this! 
SF: How do you feel about matched grip 
versus traditional grip? 

JK: I started off playing with convention¬ 
al grip. I started using matched grip for 
more power onstage. It got to the point 
where I was playing matched grip in the 
studio all the time, also. But I always felt 
that I was cheating myself because I had 
such a nice technique with the conven¬ 
tional grip. When I'd switch back to the 
conventional grip I'd feel a little weaker, 
but I felt funkier. I always feel funkier 
with my conventional grip. In the last 
couple of years I've been changing back 
and forth to where I can truly say that I 
feel comfortable playing both ways. It's 
a real nice feeling to be able to switch 
back and forth. That's what I would 
advise anybody that's got a problem with 
it to do, especially if they already play 
conventional grip. I think it would be 
good to just go ahead and get right into 
matched grip and just do it. Make it 
really happen. I would tell drummers 
that have been playing matched grip and 
have a nice technique, that want to 
switch over to conventional—don't give 
matched grip up entirely. It does work. 
I've proven to myself you can do both. I 
really didn't think I could. I thought it 
would be too much of a conflict, but 
that's not true. I've had people tell me 
you can't roll with the matched grip. So I 
learned how to roll with the matched 
grip! I can do anything with the matched 
grip that I can with the conventional 

Another thing, in that Modern Drum¬ 
mer story on Ed Greene, Ed was talking 
about how he sits low on the drum stool. 
That interested me because I've always 
sat fairly high up. Jeff Porcaro sits very 
low and so does Hal Blaine. Shelly 
Manne told me that years ago, but I'm 
just now discovering it for myself. I said, 
"I'm going to try this." I set the stool 
down a little lower and I got a better 
feeling from my foot than I've had in a 
long time. 

SF: Whatever happened to your band, 

JK: That was a very short-lived band, 
mainly because the members were all 
really hot-shot musicians. David Foster, 
the keyboard player, is now producing 
everybody in sight. He's an incredible 
keyboard player, a great arranger, and a 
great songwriter. He co-wrote, "After 
The Love Is Gone" by Earth, Wind and 
Fire, which is one of my favorite songs 
ever. He didn't have time for a band 
after awhile. The guitar player, Danny 
Kortchmar, is producing albums now 
and making his own records. Paul Stall- 
worth is writing songs and doing session 
work in North California. 


SF: How do you keep your own attitude 

JK: In the last year and a half, since I've 
really sort of opened up my heart to the 
Lord, that's really made a great change 
in my life musically as well as personal¬ 
ly. I find that I have more fun now 
because I remember things. I don't go to 
sessions and forget what I did afterwards 
because I was so stoned, and my playing 
is generally better. I look forward to 
trying new things. I learn something new 
from each session. 

SF: Do you choose your own mic's in the 
recording studio? 

JK: I admire drummers who do get into 
that, but I never got that deep into it. I 
did a Direct-To-Disc record for Doug 
Sachs recently that should be coming out 
pretty soon. There are two different 
drummers—one on each side—playing 
solo drums for stereo equipment testing. 
Doug has been talking to me about this 
for the last 5 or 6 years. I would always 
say, "Oh, that sounds like a great idea," 
and shy on it, mostly because I was 
afraid. I didn't want to sit down and play 
drums alone. I'm very afraid to solo. I 
suppose if I had done more solos early 
on it would be more natural to me now. 
There are a lot of drummers who love to 
solo, but a solo is real foreign to me. I've 
never been able to, and never thought I 
wanted to. 

In the last year and a half, I have this 
feeling that everytime I get scared of 
something—you know—it says in the 
Bible, "Lay your burdens down at my 
feet and I will take them from you." I do 
that, man. It was always just words to 
me before, but it works in my life. It's 
working slowly and it's getting better all 
the time. When I get afraid of anything 
now I just pray. I've always prayed all 
my life, everytime I'd sit down behind a 
set of drums. Especially sitting down 
behind the drums. I had this little short 
prayer that I'd pray, real fast. I still do, 
only now I pray differently. It's funny, 
there's just all these things to learn in 
life. Consequently, I did this thing for 
Doug Sachs and I had great fun! 

I borrowed a snare from Mark Ste¬ 
vens. He showed me this little 5-inch 
maple snare that Pearl made and it just 
looked so clean to me. So we set it up 
and I played on it and really dug the way 
it felt. Mark's real great about loaning 
me things, so I borrowed that drum for 
the Direct-To-Disc record, and I had a 
ball with it. It made me feel like playing, 
even though they made me tape it up 
while there was no reason for it. I enjoy 
having to play occasionally on a rental 
set, or a makeshift set. Sometimes it 
makes you think a little different. 

The reason I brought this record up, is 
that Doug Sachs and Bill Schnee (engi¬ 
neer and producer) are two microphone 
geniuses. They make their own. Mark 

continued on page 64 


Carder £ Sans Musk, Huntsville 


Chicago S tore, Tucson 


Cfta ties Musk Cft., Glenda le 
Coast Music, Costa Mesa 
Coast Musk, Fountain Valley 
Coajf Musk, Mission Viejo 
Downey Music. Downey 
Drum World, San Franojco 
Guitar Center, Hollywood 
Guitar Center; San Diego 
Guitar Center : San Francisco 
Guitar Center: San Jose 
G ui tar Cen ter. San f a A na 
K&K Musk. San Jose 
La Habra Musk Center, La Habra 
Liers Music. San Bernardino 
Mrrade Music, Stockton 
Musk City, San Francisco 
Music World. $imi Valley 
Ontario Music. Ontario 
SAjpj Music, Sacramento 
Sound Stage. Fresno 
Union Grove Musk. Santa Cruz 
Whittier Musk Co.Whittier 


Percussion Specialties, Englewood 
Pro Sountf, Denver 


Modern Music Center. Ft Lauderdale 
MuSit City. Orlando 
Paragon Musk. Pine Has Park 
Paragon Music. Tampa 


Musk Mart, Smyrna 


AAA Swing CnvfMujrc. Collinsville 
Franks Drum Shop, Cft/raijo 
Gu/far Center. Chicago (2 focaftnnsJ 
ftQsefte Mltsj c, Roselle 
Windy City Music. Chicago 


Percussion Center. Fort Wayne 


Allied Musk. New Orleans 


Drums Unlimited. Bethesda 
Gordon Miller Music. Towson 
Veneman Musk, Rockville 
(Music £fnportum, USAJ 
Washington Music Center, Wheaton 


fti/rtan MuSfc. Worcester 
New Jacks Drum Shop, Boston 


Wonderland Music, Dearborn 


Marguerite'*. Moorhead 
Scftmif t Brooklyn Center 


Dude i Munc, Kama* City 

VfflftASKA _ 

Dietz Mustc, Lincoln 


Lou Rose, Edison 

5a f er School of Music, i in den wald 

NEW ME mo _ 

Luchetti Drum & Guitar, Albuquerque 


Sam Ash, Forest Htfls 
Sam Ash, Hempstead 
Drome Sound, Schenectady 
Long bland Drum Center, No. Merrick 
Modem Percussion, Nyack 


Harvey LVes* ftfusrr, Greensboro 
Reliable Musk. Charlotte 

OHIO _ s _ 

Akron Mus ic. Akron 
New York Music, Boardman 


Apple Mujjc. Portland 
Horseshoe Music, Portland 


frg Red Note Music, toe* Ha ven 
HoltowoodMuik, McKees Rocks 
Medley Musk Mart, Bryn Mawr 
Piano & Stuff, Blawnow 
ZapPsMusk, Philadelphia 


Strings & Things, Memphis 


Arnold & Morgan Music. Garland 

CBS Musk, Fort Worth 

Musk Den, £ l Paso 

Pickers Pa radise, A usttn 

Texas Toms, Houston 

Whi t tie Mud c. Da Has 


Guitar City, CenfervjWe 


Audio, Light & Musical, Norfolk 
Rolls Musk.Fails Church 


American Mufk. Seattle 
Bandstand East, Bellevue 
Cascade Music r Marysville 
Kennedy Keyes, SaaWe 


Ralph Hanzel Enterprises, W.AItis 
Ward Brodt. Madison 


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Blackwell continuedfrom page 43 

play any tune before I heard it. I would 
just adapt to the way the tune was going, 
and adapt my playing to the way I heard 
the music. 

SF: When you were a kid did you know 
that drums was going to he it? 

EB: Oh yeah. I had an older sister and a 
brother who were in show business. So 
as a youngster I was hooked up to this 
show business thing because we were 
very active in vaudeville. I would see 
them whenever they'd come to New 
Orleans with the show. I'd always make 
it to the theaters and watch them. I'd sit 
behind the drums and watch how the 
drummer would play with the tap danc¬ 
ers. When I started playing in New Or¬ 
leans they had clubs and I use to play 
with these different "shake dancers" 
and "fire dancers." That was another 
experience. Playing with dancers, you 
had to catch their movements on the 
cymbal. You had to catch their dramatic 
movements when they'd throw up their 
hands by choking the cymbal. It was 
interesting. I think drummers that don't 
go through that experience miss a lot. I 
used to hear cats talk about how Baby 
Lawrence used to dance, and how Max 
Roach used to play drums while Baby 
Lawrence danced. They would trade 
fours! I can relate to that. I didn't ex¬ 
change fours, but I played with these 
types of dancers and it was a gas. You 
had to keep your eyes and ears open. 
Sometimes they'd be feeling happy and 
they'd start improvising from the way 
the act would usually go. They might 
take it completely out of the norm and 
you had to be ready for it. 

SF: As a kid were you listening to many 
different kinds of music? 

EB: Oh yeah. My brothers used to bring 
home records of Jo Jones. Gene Krupa, 
and Buddy Rich. As a kid I heard a lot of 
big-band drummers. Any kid in New 
Orleans that showed any kind of an 
inclination for playing music was always 
encouraged to pursue it. The family was 
always ready to pursue it because being 
a musician was one of the better paying 
jobs for black people. So they would 
always encourage you to develop your 
musical talent if you showed any kind of 
inclination for playing any musical in¬ 

SF: Have you ever done any swing style 
big-band drumming? 

EB: Yeah, I played that. Musicians in 
New Orleans would always experiment 
together and put together big-bands. 
Cats would write and that was their way 
of experimenting writing charts for big- 
bands. They would get musicians be¬ 
cause we were always ready to play. 
Everyday that I lived in New Orleans 
musicians were always playing with 
somebody; either a bass player, a piano 
player, or a group of cats. Everyday you 

were on your instrument, and that way 
you kept your chops up. New Orleans is 
the only place I've ever been where I 
saw drummers congregate together. 
That's a funny thing about New Orleans. 
The musicians have a great respect for 
each other. Each instrument had their 
own little clique. Everybody would al¬ 
ways congregate with each other be¬ 
cause they were always trying to ex¬ 
change ideas. New Orleans is the only 
place I've ever been that maintained 
that. Even now. you never hear one 
musician putting another one down. I 
always dug that. There were bands play¬ 
ing rhythm and blues, I was playing 
bebop, and we all had our own set of 
music, but we always had respect for 
each other. Each one of the cats did what 
they did very well, whether it be R&B. 
bebop, or whatever. Whatever they did. 
that's what they did and they did it well. 
You have to respect that. 

SF: When you first arrived in New York, 
what was the reaction of the established 
"name" drummers to your playing? 

EB: They all came and checked me out. 
SF: The new kid in town. 

EB: That's right, and playing at The Five 
Spot with the most controversial musi¬ 
cian in town! A lot of people weren't 
aware that Ornette and I had played so 
much together before. They thought Bil¬ 
ly Higgins was the first drummer that 
had ever come up playing with Ornette. 
So when I came on the scene, everybody 
said, "Where'd he come from?" When 
they found out that Billy was having 
problems with his cabaret card, every¬ 
body was telling Ornette. "Man. you 
ain't gonna find a drummer to play that 
shit, man." He was telling them. "I 
know somebody who can play it." He 
knew that nobody else could play it. 
There were a lot of drummers that came 
around to sit in with him, but they were 
all like babes in the woods with Ornette. 
Ornette may start off with "1" here, and 
the next time, in the middle of the 
chorus, "1" would be somewhere else! 
So you've got to listen to where he puts 
that "1" in order to follow where his "1" 
is. If you're going by where your "1" is 
and you're playing like that AABA 
form—it just won't work. Ornette told 
me about a lot of the drummers that sat 
in with him before I got to New York. 
When I arrived on the scene, you can 
understand how these musicians coming 
in from out of town, playing these tunes, 
didn't know that I was there when Or¬ 
nette wrote them. So I knew the songs. I 
got in that day and I was working that 
night. No rehearsals or nothing, and I 
hadn't seen Ornette in about a year. 

SF: Whose drums were you using? 

EB: The drums that Billy Higgins had 
been using. My drums were on the way. 
They got hung up in the airport. Max 

continued on page 86 



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• • 

Headset Microphones for 
the Singing Drummer 

by Rick Van Horn 

In the Feb/March 81 issue (Tips for the 
Singing Drummer, Part II) \ described 
the studio boom/gooseneck/pistol mic 
combination I've been using for the last 
fourteen years on stage. Up till now, this 
rather cumbersome equipment provided 
me with the best available means to have 
a microphone in front of me without too 
much interference with my playing. 
Now. Shure Brothers, has introduced a 
headset mic for drummers which effec¬ 
tively renders all stand-supported vocal 
mic systems obsolete. 

What Shure has done is simply to 
market a high-quality communications 
headset and direct their advertising to 
the performer instead of the technician. 
Shure offers three models: the SM10A, 
which is the headpiece and microphone 
unit; the SMI2A which features one 
monitor earpiece; and the SM14A which 
features two monitor earpieces. I'll go 
into further descriptive detail later. 

When I first saw Shure's ad, it all 
sounded to good to be true. From the 
information contained in the ad, I agreed 
that the advantages of a microphone 
which posed no obstacle to one's playing 
would be tremendous. But thinking spe¬ 
cifically of a club band application, I was 
somewhat skeptical about a few points. 
So I wrote to Shure Brothers with the 
following comments: 

1. Most club bands do not employ a 
sound engineer, but handle the mix from 
the stage. The obvious problem with a 
headset mic is the performer's inability 
to use distance for dynamic control. It's 
impossible to back off from the mic to 
avoid distortion or imbalance at louder 

2. The unit features no off-on switch. 
This makes it impossible to switch off the 
mic for verbal communications between 
performers onstage, or counting off a 
tune, etc. Additionally, when the drum¬ 
mer is not singing, he should be able to 
turn off the mic so as not to pick up the 
drums. No matter how directional the 
mic is, it's likely to pick up some drums 
and thus add them to the vocal mix. 

Aside from these points. I saw the mic 
as the answer to a singing drummer's 
prayers. Shure's response to me came 
from their Technical Markets Director, 

Mr. Ivan Severs. He offered me a 
SM10A unit to try on the job, so that I 
could present this report in my column. 
After a month of using the unit, here's 
my pro-and-con report. 

The SM10A unit consists of the head- 
piece (which has already been modified 
once for greater comfort, hence the A 
designation) and the microphone unit on 
a small boom. The headset is comfort¬ 
able when worn; very light, with adjust¬ 
able earpieces (actually worn just above 
the ears) to fit the individual's head. The 
boom is totally adjustable, so the mic can 
be placed anywhere you want it in rela¬ 
tion to the mouth. Once adjusted, the 
boom is still movable in a 20 degree arc. 
so it can be adjusted closer or farther 
away from the mouth quickly (such as 
between tunes, or for emergency dynam¬ 
ic adjustments). What this means is, the 
mic stays where you put it, but you can 
move it quickly if necessary. I found this 
to be the answer to the vocal dynamics 
problem I'd mentioned to Shure. I sim¬ 
ply set the mic to the optimum singing 
position and lock the adjusting knob. For 
lead vocals I don't touch it again. For 
background I turn the mic slightly away 
and down, so as not to get quite so strong 
a vocal. Nothing need be done at the 
P.A. amp. To avoid distorting the mic on 
loud leads, I simply sang as loud as 
possible at the closest position I would 
use, and adjusted the P.A. settings just 
below distortion level. Thus, I had a 
maximum setting that prevented distor¬ 
tion, with plenty of vocal volume when I 
sang more softly. 

The cord attached to the microphone 
is about six feet long, and ends in a 
cannon plug which is designed to con¬ 
nect to a longer cable and ultimately into 
the P.A. amp. Attached to the cannon 
plug is a belt clip. But I didn't like having 
the cable attached to my belt, so I simply 
let the cord drop to the floor and con¬ 
nected the longer cable at that point. I 
did have a little difficulty with the head¬ 
set cord getting in front of me and inter¬ 
fering with my playing, until I found a 
way to keep it behind me. I have a 
backrest on my stool, so I use an elastic 
band around the vertical shaft on the 
backrest and run the cord through it. It 

isn't tight enough to snag the cord, or 
pull the set off my head if I move, but it 
does keep the cord from hanging loose 
and getting in front of me. If you don't 
have a backrest on your stool, a small 
clip of some kind attached to the under¬ 
side of your seat would probably do the 
same job. Just make sure it doesn't hold 
the cord too tightly, or you risk pulling 
the headset off your head if you move 

The headset mic is low impedance. If 
your P.A. is also low impedance, just 
plug in and start singing. If your P.A. is 
high impedance, you'll need an imped¬ 
ance converting transformer. There are a 
number of types. The one I use is a 
Peavey in-line model. It has a cannon- 
type female jack which receives the 
headset plug, and 25 feet of cable, ending 
in the transformer and a standard 1/4-inch 
phone plug. This serves not only to con¬ 
vert the impedance for me, but get me to 
the P.A. amp as well. The Peavey con¬ 
verter lists around $48.00. 

I mentioned that the unit has no off-on 
switch. Shure has informed me that they 
might develop a footswitch which would 
be available as an option. I would as¬ 
sume it would be similar in size to the 
standard guitar-type vibrato foot switch¬ 
es. For most drummers, this should be 
fine. For me it was impractical because 
I'm already using a number of effects 
pedals and I simply didn't have any more 
floor space. So I made a small switch 
box with a 3-amp mini-toggle hooked 
between two phone jacks. I placed it on 
the console I use to run my band's 
lighting and it serves as an in-line switch 
for me, quite close and handy. Counting 
the box, the phone jacks and the mini¬ 
toggle, I spent about ten dollars. I hearti¬ 
ly recommend this extra little invest¬ 
ment, because having a live microphone 
in front of you all the time can prove 
very embarrassing over a five-hour gig. 
If you're used to being able to move your 
mic out of the way, or move your head 
around it in order to talk to the other 
members of your band, you'll find your¬ 
self talking to everybody else in the club 
as well! So buy or make yourself a 

continued on page 60 





Shure Brothers Inc., 222 Hartrey Ave . Evanston, IL 60204 
In Canada; A C Simmonds & Sons Limited 
Manufacturers of high fidelity components, microphones 
sound systems and related circuitry 

should not 
stand in the 
way of your 

if you re a musician on drums or keyboards you know only 
too well the difficulties of singing while you ptay 

* Straining your neck to reach the microphone 

* Trying to play and stay l, on mtc* simultaneously 

* Being unabie to hear your vocal monitor 

* Trying to keep your vocal isolated from the instrument 

* And (for drummers) the problem of hitting the micro¬ 
phone boom with your drum sticks 

Shure’s SM10 and SM12 Microphones 
solve these problems 

Share's SMlOand 5M12 noise-cancefing, dynamic Micro¬ 
phones are not only an excellent solution to these problems 
but offer you lop level, professional sound quality in the 
bargain. Both units are extremely lightweight (less than three 
ounces) and offer a full-range, smooth frequency response 
especially tailored for vocals. 

Moreover they have an adjustable boom to maintain 
proper mouth-to-microphone distance and feature a 
unidirectional pickup pattern to effectively cancel unwanted 
background noise and control feedback. This gives the 
sound engineer complete control over the voice-instrument 
mix What's more, the SM12 features an in-the-ear receiver 
for use as a monitor. 

If you play the drums, keyboards, or other percussion 
instruments, Shure £ SM10 and SMI 2 Microphones may be 
the answer to your problems. 



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Club Scene continued from page 58 

I was skeptical about the fidelity of the 
mic itself. It is a very small unit, and I 
have had some experience with commu¬ 
nications headsets in the past with disap¬ 
pointing results. I'm happy to report that 
the technology involved with these mi¬ 
crophones has advanced tremendously. 
I'm actually happier with the sound 
achieved by the new unit than with that 
of the regular mic I had been using 
previously. Reproduction is very faith¬ 
ful, clear, and what I would call flat and 
dry. These are not negative terms. It just 
means that the mic doesn't seem to add 
much (if any) sound characteristics of its 
own. It projects your voice—period. 
Any tonal coloration will be made at the 
P.A. amp. 

Shure offers models with either one 
(12A) or two (I4A) in-the-ear receivers 
for monitor purposes. Although this 
seems convenient, I have certain reser¬ 
vations. These are not headphone ear¬ 
pieces, but small, pointed receivers 
which actually fitjust into the opening of 
the ear. I'm not sure that the fidelity 
achievable in this kind of unit would be 
satisfactory for accurate monitor pur¬ 
poses, but the individual user would 
have to be the judge of that. More impor¬ 
tant, I'm very dubious about having any¬ 

thing actually in the ear. Feedback occa¬ 
sionally occurs in the best of systems, 
and if a high-frequency squeal is generat¬ 
ed through the monitor earpiece, with no 
defense for your ear, serious damage 
could result. With conventional monitor 
speakers at a slight distance, you can at 
least turn away or cover your ears if 
feedback occurs. With the headset unit, 
you'd be forced to quickly remove the 
entire headset, which might be difficult 
and certainly inconvenient while play¬ 
ing. I'm using the SM10A (with no ear¬ 
piece) in combination with my regular 
monitor speaker system. I think that's 
actually the best arrangement. 

Personal appearance is another factor 
you'll want to consider. Although it 
might sound vain or petty, personal ap¬ 
pearance or intake is a very important 
aspect of club performance. The headset 
unit is not large or obtrusive, and I found 
that it actually revealed more of my face 
to the audience than was previously visi¬ 
ble behind my mic and stand. I did get a 
few initial comments of looking a little 
like Buck Rogers, but most of the com¬ 
ments have been favorable. 

Now I come to the best part of the 
description; the playing freedom afford¬ 
ed by the headset mic. I've never experi¬ 
enced anything like it. Quite simply, you 
now have the ability to play with abso¬ 
lutely no obstruction in front of you, and 
still sing. I found that I'm able to play 
fills previously impossible on vocal 
tunes, because I no longer have anything 
interfering with my access to all the 
drums. As an interesting side-benefit, I 
find that my singing comfort also is im¬ 
proved, because I don't have to be di¬ 
rectly in front of a mic to sing. I can turn 
my head towards my hi-hats, or over my 
floor toms, or even completely to the 
rear if I wish, and still be singing. I have 
the ability to keep an eye on the dance 
floor, maintain better contact with the 
band members, and generally be more on 
top of the situation visually, because I'm 
not locked in to a microphone position. 

Once you've gotten used to the head¬ 
set mic and its unique characteristics 
(and made any necessary technical ad¬ 
justments for your particular applica¬ 
tion), you have a system that offers you 
unlimited freedom for both playing and 
singing. I'd say that Shure is quite cor¬ 
rect when they state that their headset 
unit may be the answer to a singing 
drummer's problems. Now that I've 
used one, I honestly can't conceive of 
using anything else again. Although rela¬ 
tively expensive (the SMIOA lists around 
$120.00, the SMI2A at around $170.00), I 
would consider the system one of the 
finest investments you could possibly 
make towards improving the quality of 
both your singing and your playing. 

.. m 



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Lyman Mulkey 

by Clyde Lucas 
Publ: Clyde Lucas 

189-30116th Ave. 

St. Albans, N Y. 11412 
Price: Book $5.00 
Record $2.00 

Before discussing the book, the question which must be 
answered is: just what exactly is a BAtom, anyway? A BAtom 
is a floor tom which has a pedal attached to its bottom head, 
thus allowing the player to use the one drum as both floor tom 
and bass drum. By careful tuning of the heads, one is able to get 
a decent bass sound, not unlike that of an 18-inch bass drum. As 
with many inventions, this one was mothered by necessity. In 
this case, it was the necessity of traveling light in situations 
where lugging around a lot of drums is impractical. By utilizing 
the BAtom, author Clyde Lucas only needs to carry his BAtom 
case and a trap case, and still have the equivalent of a four-piece 

Now that we know that the BAtom is essentially a mechani¬ 
cal device for eliminating a drum, the question becomes: why is 
there an entire book on the subject? The book is primarily 
devoted to exercises for the development of what Lucas calls 
the "double bass audio illusion." This is achieved by playing 
the top head of the BAtom with the right hand, while playing the 
bottom head with the pedal. By alternating the two, a convinc¬ 
ing double bass sound can be obtained. The book gives just 
enough examples to illustrate the author's ideas, without wast¬ 
ing a lot of paper duplicating the same old licks. As Lucas says 
in this introduction, ". . . there is no need to try and lengthen 
my book for the sake of size. Why write out a bunch of patterns 
that are already in thousands of other drum books? I've 
attempted to use a few patterns that best fit this concept of 
playing." It's too bad more drum-book authors do not use this 

The final question we must answer is: does the book have any 
value for someone who does not own a BAtom? The answer is 
yes. Because the BAtom is played like a regular drumset, the 
exercises in this book can be used with a standard bass drum. 
The "double bass illusion" concept remains valid, and the book 
should give most drummers some new ideas. 

Lucas has also produced a record which demonstrates the 
BAtom. Those with limited reading ability might find the 
recording helpful in understanding the exercises in the book. 
The record will also be interesting for those who wish to hear 
what a single floor tom can sound like when used as a BAtom. 

The book then, is worth checking out. Even those who do not 
have a BAtom should pick up some new ideas. Drummers who 
are constantly hauling drums around to sessions, rehearsals, 
and club dates, or those who have to rely on public transporta¬ 
tion, might want to check out the BAtom itself. In any case, 
Clyde Lucas is to be congratulated on coming up with an 
original idea. We don't see enough of those in drum books these 


by Michael LaRosa 
Publ: Somers Music Publications 
45 Kibbe Drive 
Somers, CT 06071 
Price: $5.00 

Let's get right to the point: this is a superior drum book. 
Anyone engaged in the profession of teaching percussion, 
especially on an elementary level, should give serious consider¬ 
ation to using LaRosa's book as a foundational text. 

The book is truly a method; a procedure. Starting with all the 
usual essentials such as music fundamentals and hand position¬ 
ing, the lessons are set forth in logical systemized sequence. 
Teachers should find this encouraging, as each lesson is allowed 
appropriate time for development, and the book can be fol¬ 
lowed in progression, without needless "skipping around." 
Continuity, which is so important to musicianship, is demon¬ 
strated with ease in this text. 

LaRosa's approach is quite different from the run of the mill 
lesson book; presenting duets and multiple percussion etudes to 
the neophyte percussion student. In the duets, the student is 
given an early taste of ensemble or band playing, and this 
prepares him for the responsibility of listening to the other 
members of the group. The etudes are written in a clear, easy to 
read fashion, and provide excellent exposure to vertical read¬ 
ing, and "hearing" high and low pitches. The duets and etudes 
appear periodically in the book, summarizing what has been 
studied to that point. Mr. LaRosa has done an honest and 
responsible job here. These duets and etudes are basic, but 
highly musical, using dynamics and complete phrases from the 
very outset. Along with their educational significance, these 
compositions should generate motivation, accomplishment and 
plain old fun for a new student. Creating music should be fun. 

A sufficient number of rudiments are demonstrated. The 
rudiments included are essentially flams, drags and rolls, which 
are the basis of the more demanding rudiments, to be studied at 
a more advanced stage. 

A feature of this book worthy of particular note is the 
author's interjection of brief lessons entitled "Anticipating the 
roll." These preliminary exercises "gradually prepare the stu¬ 
dent for this most important rudiment." The section on rolls is 
done very well, eliminating much of the mystique. LaRosa's 
written explanation is concise and practical, and is illustrated 
by some to-the-point, easily understood notation. Sufficient 
space for application of the rolls (5 stroke, 9 stroke and long 
roll) is provided throughout the remainder of the book. 

As well as being a fine text for private instruction, Contempo¬ 
rary Drum Method can be used with equal effectiveness in a 
classroom situation. Many of the percussion books used in 
school systems are "toys," never touching upon the essence of 
percussion performance as this book does. By virtue of the 
compositions found here, an inventive music educator can do 
wonders with an otherwise uninspired class. 




by William J. Schinstine 
Publ: Southern Music Co. 

San Antonio, TX 78292 
Price: $7.50 

This collection of solos will fill the needs of those looking for 
material which is musical as well as educational. Each solo 
focuses on one particular technique, or musical problem, but 
does so in such a way that the player is never bored by 
repetitious technical exercises. These pieces could certainly be 
used for auditions or contests. 

The book begins with a section devoted to 21 solos for 2 
timpani. A variety of musical situations are covered, including 
pedaling, damping, odd time signatures, triplets, and mixed 
meters, with the level of difficulty ranging from easy to moder¬ 
ately advanced. Each solo contains suggestions as to tempo and 
stick selection, and Schinstine has included a sentence or two 
explaining each piece. 

Part 2 of the book contains 11 solos for 3 timpani. Again, a 
variety of situations are covered, but here the level of difficulty 
ranges from intermediate to advanced. Part 3 follows, with 11 
solos for 4 timpani. These solos are all at the advanced level. 

Part 4 of the book contains the timpani parts for two solo 
works, both of which have full-band parts available. Both 
pieces are intermediate level, and could be used for practice 
material even without the band accompaniment. Part 5 contains 
2 multiple percussion solos and 5 duets, all of which use 
timpani. The range of difficulty is from intermediate to ad¬ 
vanced, and these seem especially well-suited for contest use. 

Perhaps the aspect of this book that I find the most appealing 
is that it is realistic. The techniques utilized are those that one 
will encounter in the band and orchestra literature where most 
timpani playing is actually done. The exercises are well-graded, 
but they do move towards the more advanced exercises rather 
quickly. Therefore, the book is possibly better suited for 
someone who has a good knowledge of rhythms, such as 
someone who already plays snare drum. Less advanced stu¬ 
dents could make use of the book in conjunction with a basic 
timpani method, and band directors might want to keep a copy 
around for contest time. With many books coming out that 
seem to serve little or no purpose, it is refreshing to see a book 
like The Developing Solo Timpanist, which fulfills a variety of 


by Murray Houllif 
Publ: Kendor Music Inc. 

Delevan, New York 14042 
Price: $8.00 

Here is a book designed to acquaint the up-and-coming 
drummer with the styles of playing he might encounter on the 
gig. The book begins with some very basic eighth note rock 
beats, then quickly moves into some of the more complicated 
sixteenth note rhythms. The author shows the reader how to 
effectively use open and closed hi-hats to get the sound you 
hear so much in today's music. 

The second half of the book begins with a jazz swing feel 
using left hand independence and then going into bass drum 
independence. Also presented is a taste of drum fills, Latin 
rhythms and 3/4 time. 

Mr. Houllif ends the book with two easy-to-read solos for the 
drum set. This reviewer feels this book would be good for the 
drummer or teacher looking for something covering a variety of 



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Keltner continuedfrom page 52 

Stevens is a drummer that's into mic's. 
I'mjust not electronically minded I sup¬ 

SF: How did you develop your reading? 
JK: I took basic reading lessons when I 
first started playing with Charlie West- 
gate in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He's the guy 
that wrote, "The Downfall of Paris." He 
and my dad were both in The Shrine 
Drum Corps in Tulsa. I more or less 
started by playing on my dad's marching 
drum. I'd have my sister play the bass 
drum part on the edge of the snare drum 
with a spoon. She would go tap-tap-tap- 
tap, and I would play all the little hot 
licks and all. Charlie showed me the 
basics and how to count quarter notes, 
eighth notes, and sixteenth notes. From 
there I joined the school band and from 
there I sort of taught myself. I never got 
into chart reading until I started reading 
charts. So I learned how to read charts 
on thejob. 

SF: Did you ever run into a chart that 
scared you? 

JK: Oh, of course. Shelly Manne is a 
tremendous reader. I read somewhere 
where he would sit down and look at a 
part and would say, "Oh, I'll never make 
this," and he'd sail right through it. I felt 
the same way with a few Roger Kellaway 
charts in front of me. He loves wild time 
signatures and all. My first real challenge 

with odd time signatures was a record I 
did with The Baja Marimba Band. Roger 
did the writing for this particular album. 
My friend Emil Richards was on the date 
and he's a monster at reading. He helped 
me on that date. There would be a bar of 
13/4, then a bar of 158, then maybe two 
bars of "A, and the whole groove would 
basically be in 7, and then there'd be a 
little % bar followed by a 5/4 bar two 
measures later. 

SF: You were expected to sightread 

JK: Oh man! I knew I wasn't going to be 
able to sightread it. My only hope was 
that somebody would break down here 
and there or that the trombone player 
would make a mistake, then they'd have 
to stop and I'd be able to figure it all out. 
It was so complex and crazy and Emil 
saw the look on my face. He came over 
and said, "Now look, think of it like 
this." He showed me different ways of 
listening and relaxing rather than count¬ 
ing. That little insight into that, coupled 
with being able to run the tune down 3 or 
4 times enabled me to get through it and 
make it feel good. Each time you're able 
to make something like that happen, 
your confidence goes way up. It's a real 
great challenge. I love reading. I love 
doing film dates and jingles. I've done a 
few things with Lalo Schifrin. He writes 
some pretty strange stuff. 

SF: That's interesting that you've 
worked with Roger Kellaway and Lalo 
Schifrin. Do you feel you're primarily 
known as a rock drummer? 

JK: Oh, absolutely. Larrie Londin is a 
real good friend of Mark Stevens, and 
they hang out when Larrie is in Los 
Angeles. I had lunch with them one day. 
Larrie said, "Some people in Nashville 
told me that you couldn't read a note." I 
told him I did. I probably have a reputa¬ 
tion for not being able to read, and just 
being a rock and roll drummer that plays 
way back on the backbeat. Laid back, 
and all that nonsense. 

SF: What's your role in a band? 

JK: Well, for a drummer playing in a 
band he's got to be supportive. He 
should make the time feel good and try 
not to play fills just for the sake of filling 
available space. That's one of the rea¬ 
sons I love Charlie Watts so much. But 
there are as many ways to approach 
drums as there are drummers. I believe 
that our individual muscular frames af¬ 
fect the way we make a drum or a 
cymbal sound. There are no two drum¬ 
mers with the same muscle structure or 
density. A drummer truly plays with 
body and soul and is unique in every 
way. That's famed biochemist Dr. Roger 
Williams' theory on biochemical individ¬ 
uality and it's true. 

SF: In all your years of playing you've 



never had the urge to let loose on stage? 
JK: I never have. I don't like to solo, 
although I love to hear a good solo. I 
hear some drummers saying, "I hate 
hearing drummers take a solo." I always 
get something out of a solo. If he has the 
guts to take a solo then there's going to 
be something of interest somewhere 
along the line, whether it's 100% inter¬ 
esting or 10% interesting, at least that 
10% is worth listening to. I've listened to 
Steve Gadd take solos and they're so 
intelligent, beautiful, and so well done 
and thought out while he's playing. He's 
got a tremendously fast mind. I've heard 
drummers in little pickup bands in Dis¬ 
neyland play solos that would blow me 

A supreme drum soloist that not too 
many people talk about is Ed Blackwell. 
When he would solo it wasn't like a drum 
solo. It was like a melodic instrument 
playing a song. 

SF: What's the difference between play¬ 
ing a session date with Roger Kellaway 
or Lalo Schifrin, and a session date with 
John Lennon or Ringo Starr? 

JK: When you do a rock album with 
somebody like John Lennon, there are 
songs. There are no charts really. If 
there's any chart at all it'll be a little 
chord chart. When I did an album with 
Yoko, she had a sheet of paper with the 
words on it in poem form. It was actually 
very good that way. I remember think¬ 
ing, "Hey, this makes a lot of sense." 
There was nothing different about the 
music where I needed a drum chart, but 
with the words written like that, done 
pretty much the way she was going to 
sing them, it made a lot of sense. 

With Kellaway's music or any great 
arranger, or a film score—even a lot of 
commercials—they'll have an actual 
drum part with drum notation: tom-tom 
part, snare drum, bass drum, hi-hat, 
cymbals. That can be a lot of fun. I enjoy 
doing commercials because it's a chal¬ 
lenge to put it all together and do it 
exactly the way the guy wrote it. If the 
guy's any good, if he really knows what 
he's doing, the part will really make 
sense. In some cases when you try to 
play a part exactly as written, it'll be 
awkward and you'll want to change it. 

There are arrangers who really have it 
down good. They'll write the part out, 
note for note knowing in their heads how 
it's going to happen with another part 
that will make sense. I love doing that 
because at that point you're relying total¬ 
ly on your ability to read and it's great. 
There's no real sightreading thing hap¬ 
pening in the studios. There's no such 
thing as that, really. That's not realistic. 
There are many, many times when a first 
take is made. I've played on many first 
takes that've either been hit records or 
been the actual product that ends up on 

continued on page 82 


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Donald Knaack 

by Rick Mattingly 

If you have ever complained about the 
problems of hauling around and setting 
up a standard drumset, imagine the prob¬ 
lems faced by a musician whose instru¬ 
ments are made entirely of glass. In 
order to do a performance, he must 
arrive at the hall a full day before the 
concert to set up such things as chimes 
made of glass tubing six feet long and 
three inches in diameter; a xylophone 
built out of glass rods; twelve different 
sets of wind chimes, ranging from glass 
marbles to large panes of glass eighteen 
inches long by eight inches wide; glass 
maracas; and various bottles and jars. 
Much of the time is spent just packing 
and unpacking the glass safely. Such a 
task requires patience, naturally, and 
dedication, surely. 

The musician who possesses this nec¬ 
essary patience and dedication is percus¬ 
sionist Donald Knaack (pronounced Ka- 
nak). He goes through all of this in order 
to perform a piece conceived by artist 
Marcel Duchamp entitled The Bride 
Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors. Even 
(Erratum Musical). The piece is as out of 
the ordinary as is its name, which was 
originally the title of a Duchamp paint¬ 
ing. Duchamp conceived the idea of a 
musical composition which would be 
based on the principles of the Dada peri¬ 
od in art, of which Duchamp was a 
founder. Duchamp's instructions called 
for the piece to be played on a player 
piano, an electronic organ, or on any 
new musical instrument, or instruments, 
which "suppresses the virtuoso interme¬ 
diary." The idea was, anyone who un¬ 
derstood the logic of the piece could 
perform it without having to practice 
technique on an instrument. Knaack 
chose to use "new" instruments, and 
because Duchamp's original painting had 
been done on a large pane of glass, Don 
decided to use glass instruments in his 
realization of the piece. 

Knaack spent about four months ex¬ 
perimenting with glass sounds and ways 
to produce them before arriving at the 
combination of instruments he now uses 
to perform the piece. At one point during 

his experimentation, he had over 400 
bottles in his living room. (His wife, 
Peggy, also possesses a great deal of 

The first step in playing the piece is to 
"construct" the score. Duchamp in¬ 
structs the performer to catalog each of 
the different sounds, or timbres, his in¬ 
struments are capable of producing. 
Each timbre is then assigned a number 
and each number is written on a small 
ball. The balls are placed in a large 
funnel. A small toy train, consisting of 
five open cars, is then pulled under the 
funnel so that the balls drop into the 
cars. The balls drop at random, so each 
car ends up with a different number of 
balls. Each car represents a period, or 
movement, of the piece. The balls are 
then taken out of the cars and are mount¬ 
ed on a rack which has five levels, one 
for each car. 

The performer is free to choose the 
amount of time each movement takes. 
Knaack chose three minutes because the 
number three was important to Du¬ 
champ's work. Don then divides three 
minutes by the number of balls in each 
level of the rack. For example, if the first 

level contains twelve balls, he will play a 
sound every fifteen seconds during the 
first three-minute period. If the second 
level has only two balls, the second 
three-minute period will contain two 
sounds, played a minute and a half apart. 

The score, therefore, consists of the 
rack of balls. The performer simply pro¬ 
duces the sound whose number corre¬ 
sponds to the number on the ball, in the 
order the balls appear on the five levels 
of the rack. By using this procedure, 
which involves the element of chance, 
each realization of the piece is different. 
The final product is a blend of Duchamp, 
who conceived the idea, Knaack, who 
conceived the instrument, and chance, 
which determines the sequence of 

In addition to the time period, Don has 
incorporated the number three into the 
music in another way. On his recording 
of the piece (Finnadar 9017). Knaack 
made three separate realizations and 
then, through overdubbing, superim¬ 
posed them over one another. What is 
actually heard on the recording are three 
simultaneous realizations. In live per¬ 
formance, Knaack often plays the piece 



along with a tape on which he has re¬ 
corded two previous realizations, so that 
he gets the same effect that is on the 

When doing the piece before an audi¬ 
ence, Knaack has slides of Duchamp's 
art shown during the time he is preparing 
the score. He also has someone read a 
tribute to Duchamp, written by John 
Cage. The slides and the reading are 
timed to conclude as the music begins. 
The whole realization takes 22 minutes; 
seven to prepare the score and fifteen to 
play the piece. 

Performing a work like this is notjust a 
matter of learning notes and then playing 
them. Knaack spent a year and a half 
doing research on Duchamp's work and 
philosophy before he recorded the piece. 
This gave him an understanding of the 
aesthetic principles behind the piece as 
well as ideas for ways to perform the 
work. It was his knowledge of Du¬ 
champ's interest in glass and transparen¬ 
cy that led to the instrument. It would 
have been possible to perform the work 
without this painstaking preparation, but 
the end result would not have been as 
true to the spirit of Duchamp. 

This attitude carries into every project 
Knaack becomes involved with. He took 
the same kind of care when working on a 
piece by John Cage, entitled 27’ 10.554" 
for a Percussionist. When Don first ap¬ 
proached the piece, he already had a 
good understanding of what Cage and his 
music were all about. Knaack had read 
everything he could get his hands on 
about Cage and had attended seminars at 
which Cage spoke. He had also per¬ 
formed many of Cage's works, some¬ 
times under the supervision of the com¬ 
poser himself. This piece was also re¬ 
corded, and appears on the same disc as 
the Duchamp work. Duchamp had been 
a strong influence on Cage, and Knaack 
felt that the two pieces complemented 
each other beautifully. 

The music that Donald Knaack has 
chosen to play demands as much from 
him as from the composer. As a result, 
he is starting to do much of his own 
music, in addition to works by others. 
He wants to take his music into clubs 
where people go to listen tojazz, believ¬ 
ing that there would be a bigger audience 
for this type of music if more people 
were exposed to it. Knaack has been 
experimenting with the latest electronic 
equipment and plans to include these in 
conjunction with the many instruments 
he already uses. Many of his pieces are 
multi-media, involving film, tape, and 
live performance. He reflected. "I don't 
see a lack of ideas for a long time. It's a 
chance to be truly creative in the ulti¬ 
mate sense. The only problem is cart¬ 


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Greer continuedfrom page 32 

ming. Man, I went right into my routine. 
It was a classic. I told Toby, "I ain't 
never riding with you no more." The 
next day I was in the same raggedy 
automobile riding again. 

SF: Then the nucleus of what was to be 
the Ellington Orchestra moved to New 

SG: Fats Waller came to see me. He had 
a band at that time, but the musicians got 
to feuding amongst themselves and 
pulled out from him. Fats had to leave 
there and open in New York. I was the 
only one in Washington that he knew. 
He said, "Sonny, I've been in Washing¬ 
ton long enough. How'd you like to go to 
New York?" I said, "Yeah, I'm ready to 
go back." He said, "Can you get me a 
bar band?" I said, "Yeah man. How 
many do you want?" He said, "Five or 
six." So I got Duke, Arthur Whetsol, 
Elmer Snowden. Four. Me and Duke 
went on ahead to New York. Toby came 
later. His auntie lived in New York and 
we slept at her place. The first night I 
took Duke down to the Capitol Palace 
Cafe. Willie The Lion was playing. Wil¬ 
lie The Lion had seen me, but I wasn't 
no close associate. So I fall in on The 
Lion and lay some heavy jive on him. I 
said, "Lion, my man, I want you to meet 
my number one man from Washington, 
Duke." He said, "Sit down, kid." I said, 
"He's a piano player, Lion." Duke had 
never seen nobody like that. He had 
heard about him. So Lion got to playing. 
He had a rough band and they could 
play, man. After awhile Lion said, "Hey 
kid. Play one for me. Let me hear you." 
Duke got up and played "Carolina 
Shout" just like James P. Johnson. Lion 
said, "I like that." One night James P. 
came into the cafe. Lion said to Duke. 
"Play that thing again." So Duke played 
the same thing that James P. had played 
on the piano roll! And James P. said, 
"Oh yeah. I like that." From then on we 
were all close. 

SF: When I listen to the early records 
with you and Elmer Snowden, a lot of 
what you were playing with brushes is in 
unison with the banjo rhythm. Was that 
something you did consciously? 

SG: No. We both listened to the piano. 
Piano was predominant. We always lis¬ 
tened to him. The bass player? We never 
had to listen to him. He listened to the 
piano, too, because piano players make 
so many different changes. The piano 
player was in the middle of everything. 
All piano players are crazy. Yon know 
that. You give me one thousand dollars 
and I couldn't tell you what Brooks is 
going to play. He don't know what he's 
going to play himself. No piano player 
knows. They play how they feel. No 
piano player in the world goes by a set 
pattern. I don't care who he is. They 
don't play the same thing twice. The best 








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in the world don't do it. 

SF: Well, the best drummers don't ei¬ 
ther, right? You weren't playing any¬ 
thing the same. 

SG: No. You just have to be alert all the 
time. When me, Brooks and Russell Pro¬ 
cope were playing down at Gregory's in 
New York City, man, we use to play so 
much stuff. The kids didn't believe it! 
They thought it was brand new. The 
average kid thought it was brand new, 
man. It wasn't nothing new! Same things 
we played many years ago. We went 
down to play there for two weeks and we 
stayed down there near four years. That 
little old place was packed and jammed. 
You couldn't even walk in there, from 
Monday to Sunday, rain or shine. Man, 
that place has never been like that again. 
SF: It must still feel great to be playing, 
doesn't it? 

SG: Oh yeah. You know a funny thing? 
Up at the West End Cafe on Monday 
night that damn place gets bigger and 
bigger. That's the worst night of the 
week. No club is doing business on Mon¬ 
day. You turn around and the first thing 
you see is a whole lot of people, and it's 
just me and Brooks. That's hard. We got 
a terrific bass player sometimes. Aaron 
Bell. He's sharp. He teaches school at 
some college in New Jersey. 

SF: What drummers did you listen to 
when you were coming up? Did you ever 

go out and watch certain drummers that 
turned you on? 

SG: No. 

SF: Never? You never saw Chick Webb 
play or ... 

SG: Chick was a good friend of me and 
Duke. I love him. All them guys could 
play. At that time you put up or shut up. 
There wasn't no in-between. You either 
was good or forgot it. There was so many 
good drummers that could play. Real 
craftsmen. Kaiser Marshall was a great 
drummer. Walter Johnson was a good 
friend of mine. He was a nice guy. He 
used to come down to Gregory's before 
he got real sick. 

Man, we didn't have no nights off! We 
didn't have time to go visit nobody. If I 
ran into them . . . alright. If I didn't run 
into them . . . forget it. We were so busy 
we didn't have no time. We were work¬ 
ing every night including Monday and 
Sunday. No nights off. Man, the Cotton 
Club would take the whole show and the 
band to a hotel to play a benefit. We'd do 
one a night or at least every other night. 
The Cotton Club was the place. High 
class. All the rich people from downtown 
just used to live at the Cotton Club. You 
come to New York and didn't go to the 
Cotton Club, you ain't seen New York. 
They thought Harlem was heaven. It 
was! Everybody from downtown came 
up and you could walk anywhere, any 

hour of the night. You never heard of 
mugging and all that stuff. It was beauti¬ 

SF: Sonny, can you give me an idea of 
the way the speakeasys were? 

SG: Oh, yeah. I was singing with the 
band. Man, Leo Bernstein, our manager, 
would make so much money and get real 
drunk that he would damn near want to 
give me the cash register. I knew when 
he was drunk. All I had to do was sing 
"My Buddy" and I could get anything in 
the world! So Fats Waller was playing 
piano for the master of ceremonies at the 
show, Bert Howell. Duke ain't going to 
go out on the floor and play no piano. So 
me and Fats would go around and enter¬ 
tain, singing those risque songs. We 
made so much money in tips down there 
that Duke's eyes popped open! He told 
Fats, "Hey man, I'll take the piano." I 
said, "No, no. Me and Fats got this." 
We had 7 or 8 girls that Leo Bernstein 
hired as hostesses, but they would sit 
with stag parties. So man, they wasn't 
going to sit with nobody if their pockets 
wasn't straight, you know? So we'd 
swing around on the piano to where they 
would be sitting. That'd be the first place 
we'd hit. Man, the guy wants to give us 2 
dollars. The girl starts hollering, 
"What're they going to do with 2 dol¬ 
lars? They can't do nothing with 2 dol- 

continued on page 71 



Photo by Tom Copi 


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lars!" So the guy would try to impress 
the girls, he would dig, and we'd lay one 
of them good ones on him. But when Leo 
Bernstein got drunk I'd say, "Man, he's 
drunk." I'd sing "My Buddy," because 
he was a war veteran. I'd sing, "The 
nights are long since you went away, my 
Buddy." Man, he would start crying and 
throw his hands in his pockets. Me and 
Fats would say, "We got it! We got it!" 
It was prohibition and you ain't sup¬ 
posed to sell no whiskey. People 
couldn't get no whiskey until they'd see 
me, because I remembered faces and 
people from all over. He'd say, "Sonny, 
the party over there wants some whis¬ 
key. Should I serve them?" I'd say, 
"Yeah, he's alright." 

BK: Sonny was the spotter. 

SG: And I never made a mistake. 

BK: And when the Fed's would come 
busting in there the place would flip flop 
into a church and Sonny'd come out and 
say, "We don't serve nothing but wine. 
This is a church." 

SF: How would you know when the 
Fed's were going to come? 

BK: The buzzer. It was a basementjoint. 
SG: We had a doorman called Slim and 
he could smell one of them a mile. Slim 
would step on the buzzer. As soon as the 
buzzer comes it was a different joint, 
man. In about a minute all the panels 
would turn around and the whole place 
would take on a different atmosphere. 
SF: During the big-band days, the bands 
played for the dancers, right? There 
wasn't any playing for "musicians"? 

SG: We never featured playing for the 
musicians. If they happened to be there 
. . . they was there! But to play directly 
for them? We never did that. When 
Fletcher Henderson was at the Roseland 
Ballroom, he played for dancers. Benny 
Goodman did too. I remember they'd 
feature a guest band every week at the 
Savoy Ballroom. All the big-bands 
would go up there but Chick Webb's 
band would cut them. So one day it was 
our turn to go up there. 

Chick had such strong men. We 
played the Apollo Theater the week be¬ 
fore we went up there to play against 
Chick. So everybody was running out of 
the Apollo saying, "Man, ain't nobody 
ever cut The Duke. But Chick can do it 
because he's been rehearsing all week." 
Dukejust laughed. Duke paid it no mind. 
We didn't rehearse, we just played the 
show. We didn't have time to rehearse 
no band. Chick opened up. The place 
was packed, because the Savoy was 
Chick's homeground. His cats got a big 
ovation. We sat back and listened to it. 
BK: If a band ended on a C7 chord. Duke 
knew enough to resolve to the next high¬ 
er chord, for the beginning of their first 
tune. Like, if Chick ended on a C major 
vontinued on page 72 


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Greer continuedfrom page 71 

chord, Duke would take if from a C 
major to a C7 to an F chord. He'd not 
only resolve it—he'd bring it up. So, it 
had an effect that would lift the listener. 
SG: We went up there and Duke played a 
little piano—just me and him until it got 
down to the last four bars—until he 
played the tonic and we know what we 
was going to play! We opened up with 
"Rockin' In Rhythm." The people in the 
place stood up and cheered. People 
wouldn't dance! They just stood around 
the bandstand. We picked up where 
Chick left off and kept going higher. 
Chick shook his head. "Why you got to 
play all that music up there?" The guy 
that booked us there said, "Chick, I 
guess you'd better play the waltzes 

But Duke and I were crazy about 
Chick. He was crazy about Duke. Chick 
asked, "Duke, what did you do that to 
me for?" Duke said, "Man, we're just 
playing a gig, that's all." Then we had to 
go back to The Cotton Club where we 
tore them up again. 

Sonny Greer conjures up a picture of a 
massive drumset. The set wax so impres¬ 
sive that special mention was made in 
Jim Haskin's book The Cotton Club: 
"Greer and his drums provided the focus 
of the band's (Ellington's) music. He 
had an incredible battery of percussion 
equipment, everything from tom-toms to 
snares to kettle drums, and once he 
realized the band was at the club to stay 
awhile, he brought in the really good 
stuff. Sonny later recalled: ' When we got 
into the Cotton Club, presentation be¬ 
came very important. I was a designer 
for the Leedy Manufacturing Company 
of Elkhart, Indiana, and the president of 
the company had a fabulous set of drums 
made for me, with timpani, chimes, vi¬ 
braphone, everything. Musicians used to 
come to the Cotton Club just to see it. 
The value of it was three thousand dol¬ 
lars, a lot of money at that time, but it 
became an obsession with the racke¬ 
teers, and they would pressure bands to 
have drums like mine, and would often 
advance money for them.' With such 
equipment, Greer could make every pos¬ 
sible drum sound, and at the Cotton 
Club he awed the customers, conjuring 
up tribal warriors and man-eating tigers 
and war dancers. But his rhythms were 
only the focus of the band's sound." 

SG: My valet had my drums shine like 
gold. They were chrome plated on the 
rims and hardware except for the cym¬ 
bals and the gongs, which were gold 
plated. The valet kept them sparkling 
like diamonds. Very expensive. 

SF: Did you design that set? 

SG: Yeah. The average drummer didn't 
use all them drums. I had everything. 
Timpani, vibraphone, chimes and the 

continued on page 76 



Have a problem? A question? Ask MD. Address 
all questions to: Modern Drummer, c/o It's 
Questionable, 1000 Clifton Ave., Clifton, NJ 
07013. Questions cannot be answered personally. 

by Cheech lero 

Q: What is the purpose of the air hole in the side of the drum 

D. A. 
Charlotte, N.C. 

A: The air hole is to relieve the pressure of the air inside the 
drum which is compressed every time the drum is struck. 
Without air holes, there would he many more broken drum 

Q: What is the origin of the castanets? 

P. B. 

Prescott, Arizona 

A: This instrument originated in Spain. The word castanet 
means chestnut, the wood originally used in making castanets. 
The lowest pitched pair of castanets characterizes a man's 
voice, and the highest pitched pair, a woman’s voice. In the 
hands of a master player, a musical conversation can be sent 
back and forth from hand to hand. 

Q: Exactly how is the speed of a click track determined so that 
the music comes out exactly on time? 

F. W. 
Wilmington, De. 

A: Timing is crucial in motion picture scores, and T. V. or radio 
commercials. Many times, metronome markings are used to 
estimate the duration of a piece of music by using the formula n 
x t/M. The n indicates the number of beats in a measure; the t, 
the amount of measures in the music; and M, the metronome or 
click track marking. Assume the music was 160 measures of 3/4 
time, with a metronome marking of quarter note = 90. By using 
the formula 3 x 160/90 we find the music will be 5 minutes and 
20 seconds long. 

Q: Did drummer Sandy Nelson record his first album, Let 
There Be Drums for the Imperial label? 

D. F. 

Davenport, Iowa 

A: No. Sandy Nelson’s first record was recorded in 1959 on the 
Original Sound label. The LP was called Teen Beat. 

Q: I'm questioning the new hoop design Ludwig has just 
innovated. What about it? 

T. K. 

Honolulu, Hawaii 

A: Ludwig claims their new design is the "first major hoop 
innovation in 40 years." What it is, is a hoop with a cross- 
ribbed twin channel design that provides 360 degrees of hoop to 
head contact for tom as well as snare drum. 

Ludwig claims that if a tension rod loosens, there is no loss of 
head tension and it will eliminate hoop distortion even under 

the most demanding conditions. The hoop features a smoother 
appearance because its new design eliminates the "ears" 
found at the locations of the tension rods. 

Q: What is a sextolet? 

M. P. 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

A: A sextolet is a group of six notes generally indicated by a 6 
written over the top of the figure. This grouping of6 notes is to 
be played in the time of four notes. 

Q: I own a 4-piece Slingerland set which was purchased new in 
1956. Recently I've had a problem with the heads. No matter 
what type of head I use on the small and large toms, after 
awhile, they begin to loosen on one side of the drum. I've 
replaced all the lug screws, and the lug assemblies are not 
stripped. I've checked the wooden shells and they're not 
warped. Help! 

F. A. 

New York, NY 

A: I would suggest you check the lug-screw holes in the hoop. 
The "bubbling " of the drum head may be caused by these holes 
being worn wide. This is not an uncommon occurrence with 
hoops manufactured during the fifties. If this is the case, I'd 
recommend you replace the rims. 

Q: What is musicianship? 

T. L. 

Manchester, England 

A: Musicianship has many facets, but essentially, it is the 
ability to read between the lines and penetrate beneath the 
surface of the music to the depths of using proper dynamics; 
preserving a balance between the instruments; keeping impec¬ 
cable time; listening; and correctly using variations in tempo 
and tonal color. It is also the interpretation of musical ideas so 
the music is presented articulately, in order that its message 
can be appreciated by the listener. 

Q: Can rests be syncopated? Also, what is the difference 
between "tempo" and "time"? 

J. W. 

Winnipeg, Canada 

A: Rests cannot be syncopated. Syncopation depends upon 
stressed sounds, although silence can be a contributing factor. 
Writing rests in a syncopated rhythm is an incorrect use of 

Tempo is the pace at which the music is played and is 
indicated either by musical terms such as Allegro, Moderato, 
Presto, etc., or more accurately by metronome markings. 
"Time" refers loosely to the duration of sounds, or is used to 
indicate the pulse in the music. * 



Ed Blackwell 

"Bemsha Swing" 
From the album 

with Don Cherry and 
John Coltrane 

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Transcribed by Skip Shaffer 


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Greer continued from page 72 

other drums. I only used the vibraphone 
for chords to back up singers. I'm no 
Lionel Hampton. Duke used to like to 
come there and play them all the time. I 
designed a lot of drums for Leedy. When 
the first timpani pedal came out I helped 
design that. A lot of snare drums, tom¬ 
toms, and different ideas about brushes, 
and a line of cymbals. 

SF: Leedy manufactured their own cym¬ 

SG: No. Zildjian up in Boston. I gave 
them a lot of ideas. The average drum¬ 
mer—very few of them know—you can 
tell a good cymbal by the cup. If the cup 
is not too pointed—more flat—you'll get 
a better sound. 

SF: You used to use a lot of cymbal 
chokes for accents. 

SG: Oh yeah. Man, that's so long ago I'd 
forgotten all about it. It's just something 
that I done, that's all. 

SF: Were you able to use your Leedy set 
in the recording studio? 

SG: No. They always have a set of 
drums at the recording studio. If I want 
some special thing I take my own stuff. 
But they always had a technician who 
was very exact. He wanted everything 
perfect. It ain't like you hear now. Some 
of these people that's doing it now don't 
play. You hear them country cats, man, 
they ain't playing! Can't sing. Can't 
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BK: Sonny had a valet named Jonesy 
who always tuned Sonny's bass drum to 
a "G." 

SG: Always. He knew more about my 
drums than I did. Boy, he was something 
else. Him and Ivy Anderson didn't hit it 
off at all. They weren't enemies—they 
were friends. Everytime she wanted 
something she wouldn't let nobody go 
for it but Jonesy, and Jonesy never gave 
her no change. She'd give Jonesy a twen- 
ty-dollar bill for some barbecued chicken 
or something, and she'd say, "Jonesy, 
give me my change." He's say, "Ain't 
no change." She'd blow her top! Ivy was 
fiery, man. Jonesy would never give 
Duke no change, never give me no 

One time a guy gave Duke one of the 
prettiest accordions as a present. They 
kept it in the baggage car. We always 
traveled with our own Pullman. Jonesy 
saw the accordion and sold it! Some 
weeks later Duke said, "Jonesy, get my 
accordion." Jonesy says, "Man, I can't 
find it nowhere." He had sold it! He was 
a character. He'd been a bellboy at the 
Cotton Club and he was so nice that 
Duke asked him, "How'd you like to 
come on the road with us?" He said, 
"Yeah." So we took him. He was great. 
He'd do anything to try to be at a certain 
place at a certain time. He and I were the 
first ones in the theaters. When the band 
come we had the whole stage set up. 
Everything. All the dressing rooms were 
put out. You could trust Jonesy with 
your life. He wouldn't let nobody touch 
my drums. He knew them backwards. 
SF: Is it true that you used to use timpani 
heads on your bass drum? 

SG: Yeah. 

BK: That was so he'd be in tune with the 
bass player. The bass player would hit a 
"B" and Sonny would hit a "G" on the 
bass drum and they'd be in harmony. Or 
a "D" in harmony with "G." Blanton 
always hit a "D." 

SG: It was my idea to use the timpani 
heads, and Duke and I thought of the 
tuning idea. I was the first one that tried 
the hi-hat. Leedy made the first hi-hat 
and they sent me one of the originals. I 
used it at the Kentucky Club. 

BK: They sent it to Chick Webb the 
same day and Chick didn't like it! Sonny, 
who was the first drummer you ever 
heard play the jazz ride cymbal rhythm? 
SG: I think it was Kaiser Marshall when 
he was with Fletcher Henderson's band. 
SF: Was there a closeness between the 
drummers in the thirties and forties? 

SG: We were all friends. Close friends. 
We all socialized. The musicians were 
closer together at that particular time. 
Everybody visited everybody and they 
hung out together. Today it's a different 
atmosphere. The kids? You can't tell 
them nothing now. You either put up 
then or shut up. If you were lame you 

had a hard time. But if you could play, 
they would come to see you. They'd tell 
you if you could play. It was a pleasure 
being around guys like that because they 
were close together. I used to be called 
"The Sweet Singing Drummer." Boy, I 
had more people that hated me. 

SF: Why? 

SG: Because we used to broadcast over 
the radio from coast to coast every 
week. I was singing with the band and 
we had a few of the best announcers in 
the business. Man, we played all the best 
of our numbers for an hour. If you were a 
guy who worked past 7:00 PM . . . well, 
nobody would cook dinner for their hus¬ 
bands! The husbands would be working 
all day and they hated our band. From 
6:00 to 7:00 everything stopped. If you 
hadn't ate before our radio show come 
on you were out of luck. 

SF: When the Ellington Orchestra would 
work out tunes, how did you handle the 
arrangements? Was there much rehears¬ 
al prior to performing the songs? 

SG: We were the only band that never 
played the same concert at Carnegie Hall 
twice. Duke would write special music 
for it. Every concert we played we 
played different tunes. You didn't come 
there to hear "Oh, Susanna" or one of 
those songs over and over. We had 
brand new music for every Carnegie Hall 
concert and we played there every year. 
For us everyday was a new day and a 
new challenge. 

SF: Were you using drum charts for the 
floor shows at the clubs? 

SG: Man, no. We just played it like we 
feel, just like we play right now. 

SF: When did you first meet Jo Jones? 
SG: Jo was out West in 1936. He's my 
number one man. He's something else. I 
saw him with Basie out in Kansas City 
somewhere, with the Bennie Moten 
band. I liked Jo right away. He's the 
same Jo Jones that you know now. He 
calls me "Mr. Empire State Building." 
One Christmas he found the oldest pair 
of shoes that he could find, giftwrapped 
them and said, "Here's your Christmas 
present. It cost me a lot of money." 
Man, he must've had those shoes a thou¬ 
sand years! They were all wrapped up 
nice, man. I threw them in the garbage 
can. Next time you see him tell him, 
"Sonny told me about the Christmas 
present you gave him!" 

SF: As drums progressed through the 
'30s, '40s and '50s with people like Jo 
Jones and then on up, did you dig what 
was happening? 

SG: Well, Jo Jones played then like he 
does now. He never changed his way of 
playing. Not that I know of, and I've 
seen him many times. 

BK: How about Davey Tough? 

SG: Well, when Davey got out of the 
Navy, we was playing the Chicago The¬ 
ater and he stopped in Chicago and 



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found out the hotel I was staying in. The 
manager called and said, "There's a boy 
here that just got out of the Navy, his 
name is Davey Tough. He said that he's 
a good friend of yours. Should I let him 
go up to the room?" I said, "Yeah. Give 
him anything he wants." He was half 
sick then. That was the last time I saw 
him. A beautiful guy. Good drummer. 
He was one of the good ones. Not only 
playing, I mean personally. He was 
great. I didn't think he was that sick. He 
died shortly after he got home. 

SF: Did you get a chance to see people 
like Kenny Clarke at Minton's, and Max, 
and Art Blakey? 

SG: No, you see when I get through 
work I never hang out anyplace after¬ 
wards. People would always say, "Come 
on by." But they were mostly horn play¬ 
ers that went to those places. Real drum¬ 
mers and bass players, they duck those 
places because everytime they go in 
there, somebody wants them to sit down 
and play, accompany somebody. 

BK: And you've got to play 99 million 
choruses of "I've Got Rhythm" to ac¬ 
company somebody. 

SG: I never went. 

One time we were playing the Stanley 
Theater in Pittsburgh. I come off the 
stage and this little kid was out there. He 
say, "Mister, you got a drum head?" I 
say, "Yeah." I always liked kids. I took 

him backstage and I gave him a whole 
drum. I forgot all about it. Years later a 
bunch of drummers were all talking 
down on Broadway and one drummer 
says, "You remember the time you gave 
me the drum? I'm the little kid who came 
backstage and you gave him the drum." 
It was Art Blakey. 

SF: What's ahead for you and Brooks? 
Sheila was talking about a record. 

BK: Not only that, but she's trying to put 
together two or three weeks for Sonny 
and I. Exclusive. 

SF: Is Sonny's book a definite? 

BK: Yeah. That won't be until 1982. 
Sonny's writing it. The working title is I 
Wax There. 

SG: It's just the opposite to Duke's Mu¬ 
sic Is My Mistress. So many pleasant 
things happened. 

SF: Are your still listening to music, 

SG: I went down to see Sophisticated 
Ladies. The band was very good. They 
got the stage sort of like the cafe was in 
the Cotton Club. Beautiful lighting. The 
singing and dancing is the last word. 
Duke would've been proud of that. 

SF: Do you listen much to drummers 

SG: I don't pay drummers no mind. 

SF: What's that set you're playing down 
at the West End? 

SG: Leedy. Those drums are from the 

last bunch before Leedy sold out to 
Ludwig. I've got to have them done over 
because a lot of the glass mirrors are 
peeling off. 

SF: How did you learn how to play 

SG: No matter how much money they 
offered me, that's one question I can't 
answer. It was easier to play brushes 
than sticks. Much easier! 

SF: Do you have any closing thoughts? 
SG: I never let the guys in the band 
down. We could get a sub for a saxo¬ 
phone, trumpet or trombone, but Duke 
and I were indispensible. My mother 
passed away when I was working at the 
Layfette Theater. I said, "Duke, I don't 
want to go." He said "You got to go." 
Duke used to call my mother "mama." 
You know who subbed for me? Kaiser 
Marshall. But it wasn't the same thing. 
My only regret is that my mother and 
father never saw me play. 



Charlie Donnelly's Drum Centre, Inc. 

7 East Cedar Street, Newington, CT 06111 
_(203) 667-0535 



Hearing continuedfrom page 28 

Recuperation periods for our ears are essential, hut just 
staying at home doesn't ensure noise relief. The lawn mower 
churns out lOOdBa, and an overhead jet 102; catching the 
subway can reach 120, while the food blender dices and mixes 
at 86. Many of these noises only last a short duration: others 
such as working at a newspaper press can tax your senses just 
as drumming does. Certainly drumming only exasperates our 
everyday noise exposure, and furthermore, the EPA estimates 
that the amount of noise in America will double by the year 
2000 . 

Maintaining your musical instincts and enthusiasm while 
wearing ear safety devices is not easy. Naturally, we want to 
hear everything that is going on as we drum—listening to the 
other musicians is of uppermost importance. How else can we 
spontaneously accent and accompany? After drumming regu¬ 
larly for two or three weeks with ear protection, I'll play one 
night without any protection. Wow! How incredibly fresh, 
vibrant and beautiful drums sound! The whole evening becomes 
a reaquaintance of sensory perception, my attention riveted to 
the bright tones of my drums and cymbals. This break from 
wearing ear protection is necessary for me, because after too 
long of not hearing my real drum sound I become bored. You 
just don't get something for nothing. 

Similar to how you listen to music through stereo headphones 
and shout to people instead of talk, wearing ear protection 
requires that you compensate for your drumming volume by 
playing softly. When I first started wearing protection, I re¬ 
ceived some disturbed hostile stares from the other musicians in 
the band. I would just be drumming along, not realizing that I 
was overpowering the other musicians. Now I've learned to 
compensate and guess accurately about how loud I'm actually 
playing. I rely heavily on th efeel of my sticks bouncing off the 
heads—in short, I've broadened my sense of touch, making up 
for my dampened sense of hearing. 

If you sing while you drum you'll have to work harder to 

achieve a correct mix of vocal and drum volumes. With ears 
plugged as you sing and drum, the vocal will be perceived as 
loud while the drumming will sound faint: thus you'll end up 
drumming loudly but singing softly! This vocal perception is 
called an inclusion effect. Consciously singing loud while drum¬ 
ming soft is no easy task, especially since the sound of your 
voice will overwhelm the sound of your drums. 

Since I've worn sound filters while drumming I feel livelier, 
less fatigued and more relaxed after the show. A few drummers 
have complained to me of headaches and tension, and they are 
not alone. 

"The question of the nonauditory effects of noise keeps being 
raised," says David DeJoy of the EPA Office of Noise Abate¬ 
ment and Control. "It has reached the point where the evidence 
is such that there is ample justification for further research." 

The stresses which loud noise affects upon the body include 
increases in heart and blood rates, alterations in breathing, 
blood vessel constriction, slowing of the digestive process and a 
general increase in muscular tension. Ernest Peterson, re¬ 
searching at the University of Miami Medical School, has found 
that the nonauditory effects of noise on rhesus monkeys linger 
long after the noise has stopped, and in Japan, researchers have 
recorded a higher incidence of low birth weight babies born in 
populations most affected by airport noise. 

Which Drums Hurt the Most 

I've already mentioned the peak dBA readings which Dr. 
Hall recorded as I drummed, but a more specific, narrow band 
spectrum analysis of each drum set component's frequency 
contribution is very revealing. Before testing with Dr. Hall, Dr. 
McCartney had cautioned me that the drums would produce a 
broad frequency range. 

"The wide spectrum of sounds which a drum set makes is 
more damaging than a solitary high pitch because of all the low 
pitches coming from the drums," said McCartney. 

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As I played, Dr. Hall viewed the frequency responses on a 
Bruel & Kjaer Narrow Band Spectrum Analyzer, type 2031, 
which transmitted signals to a Moseley Autograf 7001A X-Y 
Recorder, so that I could conveniently have printed graph 
results of the drum frequencies. Since the bass drum projects 
directly away from the drummer and its peak dBA proved low 
in comparison to the other components, its harmful potential is 
minimal to the drummer. The bass drum response proved to be 
very low, with a decibel peak at 60H/_. This makes the bass the 
most harmful component to be in front of— luckily we're behind 

The three toms, played simultaneously, showed a dBA peak 
at 100Hz, with a lot of frequency activity up until 2500Hz. This 
information, when coupled with the high dBA level recorded 
from tom-toms, shows that a long, loud tom roll around the set 
is devastating to hearing. Again, I'm glad that we're behind the 
toms rather than in front of them! 

The snare drum has all the qualifications necessary to be 
named "Most Harmful Component." Its sound is concentrated 
in the lower frequencies, showing a dBA peak at 300, but the 
snare also projects a noticeable amount of mid frequencies up to 
3000Hz, and slowly fades at 7000. For comparison, at 3000Hz 
the toms show little activity, and at 7000 they're substantially 
faded from importance. Due to the snare's recorded 110 decibel 
level and its close proximity to the drummer, it presents a real 
health hazard to our long-term hearing. 

The cymbals (hi-hat, ride and crash played together) show a 
very broad frequency range, but the energy is no longer in the 
lower frequencies as with the drums. They peaked at 3100 and 
3500Hz, with a concentration in the 31()()-5700Hz range, but 
continued to make a strong showing until 10,100. Then came a 
resurgence of energy at 15,500 and 19,500Hz, both of which are 
inaudible to many listeners. 

While examining a composite drum set component graph, the 
highest frequency energy from each component can be easily 
detected. The first peak is the bass, the second the toms, and 
the third and highest is the snare. Following those 60-400Hz 
peaks the graph shows a dip until 3150, at which point the 
cymbals are represented by high peaks. 

The trick for each of us individually is to find out how we can 
effectively block out those damaging peaks and still retain 
enough hearing to drum by. 

What You Can Do 

If you are concerned about your hearing, the first course of 
action is to have both ears monitored. 

"What they do in industry is called a baseline audiogram, 
which is just a graph showing how well you hear," says 
McCartney. "Ideally, this measurement is taken before you 
start drumming. Then, every year you have a re-test so that we 
can compare Spring of 1981 with Spring of 1982 to see if your 
hearing is still the same. If the test comes out well, then either 
your job doesn't require ear protection, or the ear protection 
you're wearing is effective. If after two or three years you start 
showing a loss in the 4000-6000Hz range, then you begin 
wearing ear protection while drumming. Audiograms are inex¬ 
pensive. Here at the university they're free for students, and 
$10 for non-students." 

Having a hearing check-up was a threatening idea to me 
initially, because I was afraid that the results would tell 
something that I didn't want to hear (or couldn't!). 

"I think that drummers should get regular check-ups," 
agrees Shaffer. "Then the evidence is in black and white right in 
front of you on a graph." 

Many times community services offer free hearing tests in 
addition to the college alternative. A private audiologist or any 
large health care clinic can also perform an audiogram. 

Most safety devices can be divided into four categories: stock 

ear plugs; ear muffs; sound filters and custom-made ear molds. 
Stock ear plugs are inexpensive and available virtually any¬ 
where. They are often sold as swimming ear plugs. Plugs cut out 
a lot of sound—with a correct fit they effectively block the 
auditory canal, but regular plugs don't discriminate between 
which sounds they block out. Instead, everything is dampened, 
from talking to cymbal crashes. The plastic which many of the 
standard plugs are made of tends to harden after a long period of 
time, leading to an irritating fit. When I first used plugs, they 
felt strange and kept popping out of my ears, but on the other 
hand, Dave Shaffer told me that he is very comfortable wearing 
them. Ear muffs typically block more sound out than plugs, but 
muffs are bulky and expensive. For me. sound filters have 
worked out well. While looking like plugs, these mid priced ($6- 
7) ear inserts possess a tiny diaphram which automatically 
closes when high-energy sounds assault the ears. The only 
manufacturer of sound filters to my knowledge is the Norton 
Company, 16624 Edwards Road, P.O. Box 7500, Cerritos, CA 
90701. The devices, called Sonic II Sound Filters, are the only 
ear protection device sold nationally in music stores. Currently, 
music distributors in twenty-six states and Canada carry Son- 
ics, and the same filter is sold through many sporting goods 
stores under the name Sonic II Hearing Protectors, for hunting 
enthusiasts. While wearing Sonics, I can hear conversation fine 
because the diaphram is wide open. When the intensity raises, 
however, the diaphram closes to shield my ears from loud 
noise. The frequencies which Sonics most effectively attenuate 
are high, primarily from 1000 to 8000Hz, so Sonics block out the 
annoying highs moreso than the damaging lows. You might 
need a device with more protection. Shaffer tried Sonics when 
he was searching for ear protection, but he didn't like them. 

"The Sonics are a mechanical system with a little diaphram 
inside, but I think they respond too slowly to incoming loud 
sound. I found them annoying. I prefer the cheap, dollar and a 

continued on page 93 



Future Sounds 

by David Garibaldi 

Rock drumming has a tendency toward being colorless at 
times. This, I believe, is due to the constant use of H.H., S.D., 
and B.D. in playing time. The addition of other sound sources in 

the proper context can be quite useful in today's music. The 
following concept will show one of the many ways a more 
musical approach can be achieved. 






f J ) r J i = optional 

R. H. 
L.H . 

S. D. 

T. T. 



(omit when pattern repeats) 

In Pattern 2 the L.H. and the R.H. move to different sound 
sources but each plays the same rhythms as in Pattern 1. The 
only difference between 1 and 2 are the surfaces struck by 

each hand. Moving on with this concept, let's change Pattern 
Q] from sixteenth notes to eighth note triplets. 

R. H. 



S. D. 

s 1 (JT* J73 1121 

- O (k } h ?: 


i f ilk 

?£MC_£T J 

ST2S71i * 

J iT3 7 ■ 

sj ^ * 





R. H. 

S. D. 

11-2D 7 * JV * x* 

n -8 pT[p»p™[p^[f 

(EX. 3) Now switch sound sources as was done in Pattern 2. 




R. H. 

S. D. 

^ z^- 

Ax - *' j\ «r* 11 jv i »t i j\ ji .it 

c ^is iis ■'j t n: m 1 y 11 

Zp- z> ;=>- 

The point is to get your mind to where it's not confused when 
a new sound source (other than the traditional R.H./H.H. — 
L.H./S.D.) is introduced into any rhythmic phrase. Because of 
the possible polyrhythmic effects produced by the use of many 

sound sources, it becomes necessary to first key in on the 
rhythm being played. Once this is "locked in," you can 
concentrate on the placement of more sound sources. Let's use 
Pattern [4] as an example. 


High Bell 
Low Bell 


S. D. 

T. T. 

1 1 

9 1 

*The T.T. voice here could be played on the B.D. 

This variation utilizes two sound sources in each hand which 
now takes two full bars to complete. It's the same rhythm with 
changing sound sources. The two bells ar q for example only 

and, if used, should be placed on the left side of the drum kit. 
Two cymbal sounds would work as well. Another variation of 
this is three sound sources in the L.H., and one sound source in 
the R.H. 


3 cy m. sounds 



_ -J—— 

7 ^ * 7 A WW 7 7 A 7 * x'7 7 A 5 7 i/W**? 7 A 7 7 A *"3 

rsrLrw<rtmis i rniLis i u- 1 rusum 

17 J^7 A /^7 7 ^7 7 *^1 .{I 

1 cir cir cr ^ cu* [7/’ r 

Zn- > 2*- 

As you can see, any number and type of sound sources can be only variation is in the number of surfaces played on. 

utilized. Remember, the rhythm played stays the same. The Oh, I almost forgot the feet! Try these! 

a. b. 




This one works great! 





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Keltner continuedfrom page 65 
the film. But that's not a rule! You don't 
go looking for first takes. That just hap¬ 
pens by accident. There's plenty of time 
to get it together. You don't have to 
sightread. The better you are at sight¬ 
reading, the better reader you're going to 
be. Period! If you're doing a commercial 
or a filmscore and the reading is very 
difficult, you're going to have a chance 
to run it through several times to get it 
right. If you can read at all, those several 
times are going to be very helpful. 

I took about six lessons with Forrest 
Clark, mostly to get my hands straight. I 
had a real bad hand habit. My left hand 
was all turned over backwards. I played 
sort of with my palm facing up. It didn't 
make any sense. As a consequence I had 
no power and no control. I knew I had to 
get it straight. I went to Forrest and he 
helped me a great deal. I went on myself 
and developed a nice finger technique 
exercise. It gives me a good feeling of 
control. I love tojust sit down with a pair 
of sticks and practice this exercise. 
Nothing is moving but my fingers. It's 
for control. 

SF: I know you have some strong feel¬ 
ings about "the road." Could you sug¬ 
gest any "do's" and "don'ts" for drum¬ 
mers who are considering going on the 

JK: I don't know what I could say about 
that without sounding like a mother. A 
drummer is so physical with the instru¬ 
ment—we strike the instrument in every 
way. It's us we're playing, basically. So 
you've got to remember that it's your 
body and soul that's making this music. 
Your body and your soul. If you screw 
one of them up. with drugs or too much 
booze, you're defeating the whole pur¬ 
pose of making the best music you can. 
I'm a testimony to that. I can listen to 
some records that I've played on where 
I've been recorded playing with a band 
live, and I'm so wiped out from various 
combinations of drugs and booze that it 
doesn't sound good. I don't understand 
how I could've disgraced myself in such 
a way. It's things that maybe I got by 
with at that time. Maybe there's a way 
today that people feel they can get by 
with it, but basically you're not getting 
away with anything. You're killing your¬ 
self slowly. All drugs and alcohol are 
spirit killers. They kill your body slowly. 
But more importantly, they kill the spirit 
within. They're all a bad trick. You take 
a certain kind of drug, maybe in combi¬ 
nation with alcohol and you think. "Ah, 
this is it! This is the combination for me 
because I played my ass off last night." 
There's always going to be a little isolat¬ 
ed thing which you did great, but it's 
never going to be—and this is from per¬ 
sonal experience—because of a chemical 
combination. If you keep on trying that 
same combination, you'll find out real 

quick that the combination is not magic. 
It's a trick. A trick on you! 

If you're going on the road you should 
treat your body even better than you do 
at home. You should do some running if 
you can, or a lot of walking. Some peo¬ 
ple don't like the road. They would rath¬ 
er stay at home and work. I was like that 
for years, but it was mostly because of 
my bad habits and missing my family so 
much. I've been fortunate recently to 
have my whole family, or part of my 
family, on the road with me from time to 

I've always had this fascination for 
places like upstate New York where they 
have those little stick houses and the 
stick trees in wintertime. I get a car and 
drive and see those places. It just knocks 
me out. Or being down in New Orleans, 
San Antonio, and walking along those 
little canals they have. Omaha, Nebras¬ 
ka, for God's sake! Bob Dylan and I 
went for a walk in sort of a semi-blizzard 
in Nebraska all wrapped up. I just love 
it! If you really take good care of your¬ 
self and you have a good purpose for 
being on the road, then you're going to 
feel a lot better about it. I like to walk 
around the cities, check out the people, 
go to stores, look in pawn shops for 
cymbals. That's one of my favorite 
things. That's another reason why I end¬ 
ed up with so many cymbals, snare 
drums and things. You can buy stuff real 
cheap in the Midwest, and something 
you may never find in Los Angeles or 
New York. People say they get on the 
road, they get bored and that's why they 
take drugs. There's no reason to be 
bored on the road if you really do it right. 
I don't know if this comes with age or 
what, but you have to learn to respect 
yourself. You've got to respect the body 
that you've been given and the mind that 
you have. If you think you're good musi¬ 
cally—all the more reason to make it 
better than good rather than trying to kill 
it. That's coming from first hand experi¬ 

SF: What do you like to do when you're 
not playing music? 

JK: Well, I like to read and I like work¬ 
ing in my yard. I can't read novels any¬ 
more and I used to do it all the time. I 
went from novels to reading autobiogra¬ 
phies and then "real" things, like docu¬ 
mentaries. The last good book I read was 
The Gentle Tasaday, about this group of 
cave people in the Philippine Islands— 
the last known cave people to have been 
discovered. I savored that book—every 
word. I didn't want to put it down. I 
hated it when it was over. From then on I 
couldn't read anything except things 
about people. The only things I read 
anymore are the entertainment section of 
the newspapers and the Bible. There's 
an awful lot of good stuff in the Bible 
from the beginning to the end. I've got a 



lot of reading to do there. Also, Bible 
Study classes are lots of fun and very 

I'm trying to use my time more wisely. 
I like to try to do things with my family if 
I can. I don't go to parties as much as I 
used to. I like to play bebop jazz on the 

SF: Where do you see yourself in the 
next five years? 

JK: I would like to possibly get a project 
going of my own. Producing or doing my 
own kind of album. I have in mind a 
"sound" album with some funny bells 
that I've run across that I like playing. A 
combination of bells and drums and sing¬ 
ing, if you want to call it singing. I have a 
lot of fun. I do these things in my room 
and I put them on tape, and my kids and 
my wife hear them and they love them. It 
makes them laugh. 

SF: Do you write songs? 

JK: I’ ve got a publishing company and 
I'm listed as a writer and I've co-written 
several songs. Yes, actually I have writ¬ 
ten a couple but I haven't gotten that 
serious about getting them down. I've 
been told that they're good enough that I 
should do that. I'm not real great at 
lyrics. I've been told by some of the 
greatest songwriters in the world that I 
should write because I have a colorful 
way of talking sometimes, and all I have 
to do is write about my experiences. It 
just doesn't come easy to me. I think it's 
a matter, probably, of forcing myself to 
get down and do it. It's basic insecurities 
in me that make me not appreciate a lot 
of the stuff that I'm good at. I think most 
people are that way to a degree. You 
have to learn to develop a respect for 
yourself in a lot of ways. 

I'm fascinated how most great songs 
are usually so simple in their basic struc¬ 
ture, and how some songs are basically 
self-arranged while other songs seem to 
need a lot of work. Donald Fagen (Steely 
Dan) says that when he's trying to record 
one of his songs with players that he 
wants, who are not able to get the basic 
track down within a few takes, he says 
he figures something is wrong with the 
song. He puts it away and moves on to 
something else. 

You know that great article in MD on 
weightlifting? I loved it. That was some¬ 
thing I always had questions about. I 
worked out for a long time as a teenager 
and I thought it did me good. Then I 
started feeling guilty that I was stretch¬ 
ing muscles that I shouldn't be; that I 
was hurting myself somehow in my play¬ 
ing. I wasn't real sure. Nobody could 
really tell me. Who knew? I'd talk to one 
drummer and he'd say, "Oh my God. 
Don't do that man, you'll hurt yourself. 
Practice only with the sticks that you're 
going to use on the gig." Then I'd hear 
another drummer say, "Well, I practice 
with these baseball bats and that helps 

me." I never knew one way or the other. 
So, that article was great to read. Now, I 
don't feel so bad when I feel like lifting 
some weights. Occasionally I have a 
craving to do that. My body feels like it 
needs to get tight. My son and I will 
work out together. 

Another thing I'd like to share: occa¬ 
sionally I'll go out in the backyard and 
chop down a cactus. I never would chop 
down a tree because I love trees too 
much. I plant trees all around my house. 
There are some huge cacti. This is Cali¬ 
fornia, it's a desert. They grow real fast 
and I have to chop them down from time 
to time. I get out there with an axe, I 
swing away, chop like crazy and it 
makes me feel good all over. I get real 
hot and warmed up. A few times I've 
come upstairs directly from chopping 
and played the drums and I have so 
much speed, facility, strength—it's just 
incredible. I always wanted to share that 
with somebody. 

SF: Could you give us a rundown of 
your present drum set-up? 

JK: Sure. I've been using Yamaha 
drums since about 1976. I have four sets. 
One is a blue prototype set. It's one of 
the first sets they made, I believe. Be¬ 
cause it was a prototype, I'm just now 
beginning to discover some things that 
were wrong with it and I'm having them 
corrected at Don Lombardi's Drum 
Workshop. For example, I had all the 
tom-toms trued. I've had the entire set 

done and also I've done that to my 
second set, which is a chrome Yamaha 
set. I had it done after I read the article in 
Modern Drummer on truing shells. The 
last two sets I have are black. Jeff Por- 
caro had the same kind of finish on a 
different make set and he called it a 
"black Steinway" finish. It's almost like 
a piano finish, so smooth and beautiful. 
It's the same set Steve Gadd has but the 
lugs on Steve's set are the original lugs 
which stretch all the way across the 
shell. I have conventional lugs. I figured 
it would be better to have less metal 
touching the shells. They sound good. 
They're made better, they sound better, 
and I didn't have to do as much work on 
them as I did on the other two sets. 

Mostly I use a 12" tom-tom on the left, 
and the right tom-tom varies from a 10" 
to a 15". Sometimes I have them all 
backwards, like a 12" and a 10", or a 12" 
and a 14", or a 12" and a 15", but usually 
always a 12" on the left. 

SF: But primarily, you're using a double 
mounted tom-tom kit? 

JK: Right. However, in the Yamaha 
drum catalog they have me listed as 
playing four tom-toms piggyback style 
on the bass drum. I only did that briefly 
to see how it felt, but it was too far to 
reach and felt awkward. Somebody re¬ 
cently suggested I try a 15" tom mounted 
on a stand instead of using a 16" floor 
tom. I tried it and now—at this time 
continued onpage 84 




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Keltner continued from page 83 

anyway—I prefer it to the sound of my 
16" floor toms. I used to always use a 14" 
floor tom which was very easy to get 
sounding good. I hated 18" floor toms for 
a long time. But lately, I've got a real 
good sound and feel on a couple of 18" 
toms that I use in the studio. One has a 
Pinstripe head and the other has a Remo/ 
Yamaha Ambassador head on the top. 
For now, all the bottom heads on my 
tom-toms are coated Diplomats. 

I guess that I can't really say that I 
have a particular drum set up of my very 
own. When the engineers see me coming 
they say, "Oh no! What's he got this 
time?" They never know whether to 
expect a bunch of tom-toms and cymbals 
or a very simple little set-up. 

A lot of drummers are just using one 
tom-tom on the bass drum and a floor 
tom. That's the old bebop style. I kind of 
like that. That's the way Charlie Watts 
plays and he gets all the tom-tom sounds 
you'd want to hear. On the other hand, 
the more toms you have, the more 
sounds you can get. I'm sure it comes 
down to how you handle what you have. 
Some people strive for taste; other peo¬ 
ple despise taste; I feel somewhere in 

I'm using all Yamaha hardware. They 
make a great cymbal stand. I've got 
combinations going that are like an erec¬ 

tor set. On one large cymbal stand base I 
can have two cymbals, a pair of hi-hats, 
and one tom-tom. On the other side is 
another cymbal stand with possibilities 
of several cymbals and a couple of tom¬ 
toms. Everything is mounted with just 
two cymbal stands. I can have up to six 
cymbals, a pair of mounted hi-hats, and 
several toms. I actually use two pair of 
hi-hats. One pair open all the time in the 
conventional way. Over to my right is a 
pair of permanently closed hi-hats, 
mounted on the cymbal stand. The rea¬ 
son I do that is because I've been using a 
double-beater bass drum pedal for about 
two years. I'm working with Don Lom¬ 
bardi on a prototype of one of his pedals. 
His chain-driven pedals are far superior 
to what I'm using now. 

I don't really use the double pedal for 
speed. I think there's nothing faster or 
prettier than just one foot. Buddy Rich 
exemplifies that. Most drummers that 
have good technique can play great fast 
things with one foot, so you don't really 
need an extra pedal for that. I use it 
sometimes for punctuation. It's a diver¬ 
sionary tactic. When I put it on the 
drumset for the first time, I took it to a 
session. I said, "I'll just put this up and 
screw around with it. Maybe it'll keep 
me from being bored from playing the 
same old stuff all the time." It changed 
my whole way of thinking. It gave me 

options. I love playing backwards nowa¬ 
days. I've gotten real comfortable with 
that. I can play the hi-hat with the left 
hand and everything else with my right 
hand. I think Steve Gadd does that a lot. 
It's something I've been toying around 
with for years and now it's real comfort¬ 
able. I'll play a whole song backwards 
sometimes. It makes my time sound a 
little different and I'll go for fills in a 
different manner. 

As far as a snare drum goes—I'm 
using two snare drums at the same time; 
onstage and in the studio sometimes. I 
used it on Ry Cooder's album Border¬ 
line. I don't know which songs though— 
I've forgotten. On some of that album 
I'm using two snare drums, two hi-hats, 
and two bass drums. It sounds like a lot 
of equipment, but I try not to make if 
appear that way. I use it for the different 
sounds. Also, when I play with Ry I use 
another tom-tom or a Roto-tom for a 
timbale sound, instead of an actual tim¬ 

I use a 22" bass drum live, but a 24" in 
the studio which is kind of backwards 
from the way most people do it. I've 
been real happy with the 24" in the 
studio. Mostly I use a 22" onstage but 
sometimes I'll use a 22" in the studio. In 
some cases I might use a 26" or a 28" in 
the studio! I've got a 28" 1930s Ludwig 
bass drum that's like an old dance drum. 
It's an incredible old bass drum. I used 
that on a lot of stuff in the early 70s. 
There's a snare drum that I have that 
goes along with it, a real beautiful old 
pale-green pearl snare, and it's got dou¬ 
ble snares under the top head. It's just 
real immaculate. I put real thin heads on 
it, the Mark V Diplomat. It sounds real 

Stan Yeager, from Pro Drumshop in 
Los Angeles fixed up one of my 15" toms 
into a snare drum with the tom-tom 
mount still intact, so I can mount it 
anywhere on the set! I call it a "snom." 
It sounds great. Not necessarily any big¬ 
ger or fatter, just real good and solid. I 
used it on "634-5789" on the Borderline 

I have about 60-65 cymbals. They're 
like friends to me. It's really silly. I don't 
even put them away, I just leave them 
out. I've got like 50 cymbals sitting in my 
room. I like to have the choice and 
occasionally I'll pick out a couple that I 
haven't used in a long time. I've checked 
out all the drummers over the years and 
what kind of cymbals they use. For me, 
basically, it's 15" or 16" crash cymbals. 
I've got two 15"s that I really love for 
crashing. I've got a beautiful 16", 17", 
and an 18". Those are crashes that I 
choose from lately and those are all new 
A. Zildjians. As for ride cymbals, I have 
a 24" that I use sometimes, but mostly 
it's a 22". Occasionally I'll use an 18". 

continued on page 90 




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Blackwell continuedfrom page 56 

Roach finally gave me a beautiful set of 
Gretsch with an 18" bass drum. 

SF: Max dug where you were coming 

EB: Yeah. Every interview I've ever 
had, I've always mentioned how much 
influence I got from Max. He still knocks 
me out. He's still the man to me. 

SF: Was The Five Spot a good scene? 
EB: It was a very happy scene. We were 
there about three or four months and 
every night it was packed. A lot of 
people really began to hear Ornette. 

SF: Would horn players sit in with the 

EB: No. The only person that sat in 
while I was doing the gig was Lionel 
Hampton. He came in one night and 
wanted to play the piano. So he sat in 
and played the piano! 

SF: How about John Coltrane? Did he 
ever come down to check out the band? 
EB: Coltrane would come down but he 
wouldn't sit in. He'd sit down and listen. 
During the break he and Ornette would 
talk quite a bit, but he never sat in. He 
just wanted to listen and he did a lot of 
listening. The scene was phenomenal. 
The same people that owned The Five 
Spot owned The Jazz Gallery. That club 
was about two blocks away, around the 
corner. When Ornette was at The Five 
Spot, Thelonious Monk was at The Jazz 

Gallery. He had a very good group: 
Charlie Rouse on tenor, John Ore on 
bass, and Frankie Dunlop on drums. 
They stayed there for quite awhile. After 
Monk left, John Coltrane went into The 
Gallery and he had a lot of different 
people playing with him. We used to go 
around and listen to him. We were off on 
Monday nights, so on Monday nights I 
always made it a point to come down and 
listen to John. Billy Higgins was drum¬ 
ming with John then. He was the drum¬ 
mer before Elvin joined the group. 

SF: Can we talk about that band with 
Booker Little and Eric Dolphy? 

EB: Yeah. That was 1961 or '62. That 
was fantastic. When our band played this 
"Rebel Session" in Newport with Max 
Roach and Booker, that was really the 
first time that Booker and I ever really 
conversed with each other. He used to 
sit around when Ornette and I were 
playing and he was always digging our 
music. So when I came back to New 
York, Max and Booker Little were play¬ 
ing at The Jazz Gallery. Booker was 
talking about getting a group together 
and he asked me if I would be interested. 
I said, "Of course." So I was standing 
on E. 10th St. and my telephone had 
been cut off. I hadn't been working—I 
hadn't been doing anything! Eric 
Dolphy's lady brought a telegram up 
there to tell me to report for rehearsal. 

They were getting ready to go into The 
Five Spot. We rehearsed and rehearsed 
at The Five Spot. We went in and did 
two weeks and they recorded the last 
night of the last week. 

SF: So it was Booker Little's band? 

EB: No. It was co-led by Booker and 
Eric Dolphy. We must have rehearsed 
three or four days. Booker and Eric were 
writing all these new tunes, so we want¬ 
ed to really get it together. They wanted 
it to be tight. I enjoyed it, man. I enjoyed 
the rehearsal with those cats. They re¬ 
corded that whole last night; about four 
sets of music. They must have enough 
for seven or eight albums just out of that 
one night. 

SF: What kind of things did you learn 
from players like Dolphy and Little? 

EB: Well, the only thing I can say I 
learned from the guys is the love of 
music. The love that they had for music 
was generated so much that you had to 
feel it. Booker and Eric were of the same 
caliber as Ornette. They were true to 
their art, man. The music was their first 
love. You could feel it—and I got the 
same feeling from them that I did when I 
was with Ornette. The music was it! The 
music came first, and there was the love 
that they played with, which was so 
obvious that it's luminous. 

SF: I've read that you felt your trip to 
Africa freed up your drumming. 

continued on page 88 





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Blackwell continuedfrompage86 

EB: It did. I learned that the African 
drummers play a rhythm in such a way 
that it's continuous. Individually they 
were very simple rhythms that would 
become complex when they would 
merge. But if you had the chance to walk 
around the group while they were play¬ 
ing, you could see each cat playing a 
different rhythm. It was a very simple 
rhythm that they played, but when you 
hear the overall thing . . . man! It re¬ 
mined me so much of the way the guys 
used to play in New Orleans. In fact, by 
going to Africa I was able to really dig 
how much the African culture was main¬ 
tained in New Orleans as far as their 
funeral parades. In Africa, when they 
have funerals, everybody dresses up real 
colorful and after they're through with 
everything they have dancing and a big 
celebration! That was the same thing in 
New Orleans. They'd march to the 
graveyard with the body and they'd put 
the body down. Then they'd come back 
dancing! Africans, I guess, had the con¬ 
cept that death brings on another life, so 
it was not anything to be sad about. It's 
just that the soul is gone to another life. 
That's the same concept they have in 
New Orleans. I didn't realize that until I 
went to Africa and I was able to reflect 
on the way the funerals were in New 
Orleans. We had a chance to see a cou¬ 
ple of funerals in different places in Afri¬ 
ca. The people were just dancing and 
everything. It wasn't this weeping, wail¬ 
ing and crying. It was happiness. You 
couldn't tell the relatives of the dead 
person from anyone else. Everybody 
was happy. 

SF: Did you get a chance to talk with 
many African drummers? 

EB: We had a chance to play with an 
African troupe from the Cameroons. It 
was a dance troupe and they were travel¬ 
ling with only one log drummer. We did a 
concert with them. I had a chance to play 
with the guy and talk to him. There were 
two women and two guys dancing, and 
they were fantastic. They really had the 
whole show with just that drummer! 

SF: Did you start to incorporate African 
rhythms into your drumming? 

EB: Of course. But there's only so much 
you can retain. I was able to tape some 
of the stuff on my tape recorder until I 
ran out of batteries. It was difficult find¬ 
ing batteries around Africa! Some of the 
things I taped I was able to retain, but 
after traveling to so many different 
places, you hear something new and it 
would just wipe out what you'd just 
heard. I was exposed to so much stuff 
that I was able to retain very little. I was 
able to retain the overall effect of the 
African drummers as far as how the 
rhythms would affect an individual, and 
how to try to relate my own rhythm to 
that way of playing. But that was all I 

continued on page 91 



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Keltner continuedfrom page 84 

Then, I like to use the swish cymbals. 
I've got a bunch of those and my favorite 
swish is dying right now. It's looking at 
me with a big smile. The smilejust keeps 
getting bigger—and I hate that! One of 
these days I've got to meet some of those 
people back at Zildjian so they can copy 
this for me—maybe. I've got a 39" Wu¬ 
han gong also that they used in the King 
Kong movie. 

SF: What's it like playing drums with 

JK: Playing with Ringo is definitely a 
treat. He's a much better drummer than 
people think he is. I'd like to get that 
straight if we could. A kid called me the 
other day asking me that same question: 
"Did Ringo really play on all the Beatles 
stuff?" The answer is: ABSOLUTELY. 
I think there were two songs, very early 
on in their career, that Ringo did not play 
on. Some English studio drummer did. 
But two songs out of their whole career? 

You asked me earlier how I feel about 
the role of a drummer in a band. You 
couldn't ask for anything better than to 
have done what Ringo did. To play 12 
years with the same band and have that 
kind of success! Not just commercial 
success—we all got off on those records. 
You can hear those records and you hear 
great, great tasty drum things. There's 
nothing to astound you paradiddle wise, 
or anything like that, but it's perfect. 
Nobody else could have done it any 
better. I'm sure. 

SF: Has your association with all of 
those great minds that you've played 
with helped you or influenced you? 

JK: Sure! I've been so fortunate it's 
ridiculous. One night after a session with 
Lennon, I told him that I would like to 
produce a record for someone someday. 
He said I should. He told me all you have 
to do is act like you know what you're 
doing! I loved that. He was a genius at 
that for sure. Dylan is the same way in 
that respect. 

SF: How did your gig with Bob Dylan 
come about? 

JK: Well, that's kind of a nice little 
story. I did a few tracks on an album of 
what they would call "Jesus music" with 
a Christian artist in 1975. He got several 
studio guys to do it. We were recording 
and I noticed that the songs are songs of 
love for the Lord, and for what He's 
doing in this guy's life. But they were 
real pretty songs. So I'm thinking, "This 
is great that this guy can do this." Then I 
found out that he doesn't make much 
money doing it. He makes a living, but 
it's nothing like Rod Stewart would 
make. I came home and told my wife 
about the session. She is really responsi¬ 
ble for turning my head around as far as 
accepting the Lord and letting him work 
in my life. But at that time, I just wasn't 
able to use it. When I played this session 

\ told the guy, "There's got to be some 
way that I can serve the Lord the way 
you're doing it. I feel like I should some¬ 
how." I didn't know why exactly, I just 
had that feeling. 

Then I realized that every time you 
hear some kind of Christian music, it's 
usually really boring. I'm sure their 
hearts are in the right place, but there 
just didn't seem to be any way I could 
get involved in it. Consequently, I 
thought, "How in the world will I ever 
be able to do this?" So I just forgot about 
it for a long time. 

One day I'm at a session at Kendun 
Recorders in Burbank, and I get a call 
from Dylan. I hadn't heard from him in a 
long time. The last time I had worked 
with him was on "Knocking On Heav¬ 
en's Door" from the Pat Garrett and 
Hilly the Kid soundtrack. It turned out to 
be a mild hit on the radio. It was so 
pretty, I remember crying while I was 
playing—the first time I ever cried while 
playing. We were watching the film and 
playing live. No overdub. The song was 
beautiful and sad and haunting. On the 
screen was Slim Pickens dying, holding 
his stomach, and Katy Gerrato and her 
soulful eyes looking sad. Dylan evokes 
so much emotion from certain people, 
and I'm one of them. So he calls and 
says, "I have a new album. It's not out 
yet but I want you to come by and hear a 
tape of it. If you like it, maybe you will 
want to go on the road with me." 

He had asked me a couple of times 
before to go on the road with him and I 
couldn't. I never felt like I wanted to 
make it. The road had never held any 
fascination for me, especially after all 
those years that I almost killed myself 
out there with the Mad Dogs and En¬ 
glishmen, Delaney and Bonnie, and all 
that. It was really hard on me—physical¬ 
ly. The road was synonymous with all 
things that would kill you. So I'd always 
told Bob, "Sorry man. I've got my fam¬ 
ily. I'd rather just stay in town and 
work." But I always have loved him so 
much. The first session I played with 
Bob was on a song called "Watching the 
River Flow." I was always very im¬ 
pressed with Dylan, so when he would 
call. I always would go down and play 
just so I could see him. I just wanted to 
see him and talk to him, and hang around 
him for a minute. So this time I said, 
"Well sure, I'll come down and hear the 
album." But I definitely wasn't going to 
go on the road. I knew what I was going 
to do. I was just going to go down to the 
office—it was another chance to see Dy¬ 

I go down, and the secretary puts me 
in this little room. She says, "I'll turn the 
tape on and let you hear it. Bob said as 
soon as you finish listening just come on 
up. He's up talking with some people 
right now." She turns on the tape and 

the first thing that happens is that I start 
hearing what Dylan's lyrics are saying. 
The words are about the Lord again. 
This feeling comes over me and it just 
gets stronger and stronger to where I'm 
sitting there sobbing like a fool! 

SF: That was the Slow Train Coming 

JK: Yeah. I just couldn't believe it. 
Song after song, it was just amazing! 
When it was all over I went and washed 
my face, went upstairs and said, "Wher¬ 
ever you want to go, whatever you want 
to do, I'm with you. Let's go." That's 
how it began. I've been with Dylan now, 
actually longer than I've been with any¬ 
body. Almost two years. 

SF: I thought it strange that you were 
doing the road gig in addition to the 
studio albums with Dylan. 

JK: Lots of my friends did, too. They 
were all saying, "What're you doing?" 
They know how I use to talk about the 
road. But it's one of the greatest things 
that's ever happened to me. I just pray 
constantly that Bob stays strong. He gets 
such bad press sometimes. I think a lot 
of that is because he refuses to talk to 
some of the reviewers at times. We get 
incredibly good press when the show is 
cooking. It starts to happen usually after 
the first night. You don't go onstage with 
Bob and play a show that's pat. You 
don't have a set list or know exactly 
what the beginnings and the endings are, 
or exactly what the arrangements are. 
He doesn't want that. He discourages 
that. It makes sense for him. The words 
are the most important part of his whole 
shot. The melodies are pretty and unique 
enough to hold up on their own, so what 
Bob needs is people to play them with a 
certain kind of force. No high arrange¬ 
ments, or at least not too complex. 

SF: The same kind of approach you 
might want in ajazz band? 

JK: I'll tell you something about that. 
Speaking of jazz—Dylan plays the har¬ 
monica like Coltrane played the saxo¬ 
phone! I'm telling you. 

SF: The harmonica solo on the end of 
"What Can I Do For You" is one of the 
best solos I've ever heard, on record or 
onstage, in any medium. 

JK: I wish you could've heard the first 
time he did it onstage. He surprised us all 
and we just sort of had to go with him on 
that. That particular night was a mind- 
shattering thing. I've got it on cassette. I 
listened to that for the rest of the tour 
and it was mind-boggling. The cat gets 
sounds and notes that—I just compare 
him with 'Trane. On a harmonica? No¬ 
body does that. But you don't ever hear 
anybody talk about that in reviews. He 
really stretches when he does that live. 
He never does anything twice the same. 
If you hear something he does on rec¬ 
ord—that was one time only. He changes 

continued on page 102 



Blackwell continuedfrom page 88 

was able to retain. 

SF: I've read statements like, "Ed 
Blackwell is a walking encyclopedia of 
African rhythms." Was there ever a con¬ 
scious effort where you decided, "Let's 
see how I can break down these African 
rhythms and apply them to the drum- 

EB: I have some African rhythms that I 
do that with, but there are so many 
more. I have a book of African rhythms. 
You look through that book and see the 
rhythms. There's very little that you can 
just convert over to your own way of 
playing. You have to get the overall 
concept of what they're doing and relate 
it to whatever you have to play with. 
That's what I did. 

SF: What about those rhythms you play 
on cowbells'? 

EB: A lot of that is my own stuff, but 
there's a couple of rhythms that I heard 
and retained. There's a rhythm on cow¬ 
bell that they call Amagello that I 
learned from a guy in Ghana. I use that 
quite a bit. Most African rhythms are 
written in 12/8. The main African cow¬ 
bell beat is 12/8. You can adapt that to a 
lot of different things. Most of the things 
that Africans play—you would have to 
spend much longer than three months in 
Africa to really retain an overall concept 
of how they do the different rhythms 
because there are so many. It's an end¬ 
less thing the way they change them and 
the way they apply them to different 
drums. They have a family of drums. A 
male, female, son, and daughter. Ac-Tu- 
Pa is the main drummer or the lead 
drummer. He plays the lead rhythm and 
the other drummers play according to 
what he plays. He might go into a differ¬ 
ent rhythm and then the whole thing 
would reverse and go into something 
else. The other drummers know when to 
turn it around just from the rhythm that 
the lead drummer is playing. It's amaz¬ 
ing. The drummers do it all together. So 
you have to really spend a lot of time 
hooked up to that to retain exactly what 
they're doing. 

SF: Max Roach has written some great 
solo pieces for drumset like "For Big 
Sid" and "Conversations." Have you 
ever written anything like that? 

EB: Yeah. I used to use a lot of it up here 
to teach the students that I have. In fact, 
I've transcribed a lot of things from Max 
for my students, to try to teach them the 
more melodic concept of the drums rath¬ 
er than just the technical. Instead ofjust 
sitting down and playing a bunch of 16th 
notes, break them up into the way that 
they will sing something. Sing with the 
drums. A guy can sit down and go all 
over the drums all night long. But what is 
it? If he sits down and breaks the notes 
up and tries to sing with it, then it 
becomes more melodic and more listen- 


SF: Is that a difficult concept to teach? 
EB: It's the kind of thing that students 
have to really develop on their own. You 
can only suggest to them that it's there. 
It's there to be done if they can develop 
it. I show them the different exercises 
that I use to demonstrate that concept, 
but there's so much more to it that they 
have to really develop on their own. 

SF: What exercises do you use? 

EB: Usually I use the paradiddles around 
the drums—paradiddles, four-stroke 
ruffs, rolls, breaking and playing the sin¬ 
gle-stroke, five, six, seven-stroke rolls 
and triplets. All different ways of playing 
them around the drums so that they 
become more or less a melody instead of 
just an exercise. 

SF: How long can a student at Wesleyan 
study with you? 

EB: They can study as long as they want 
to while they're here. They're here for 
four years and if they want to, they can 
study for the whole four years. 

SF: Do you turn them on to the great jazz 

EB: I turn them onto the drummers I dig: 
Max Roach, Big Sid Catlett. Kenny 
Clarke, Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes 
and Elvin Jones. Those are people that I 
dig. If they can listen to these people and 
can't get anything from listening to them, 
then they won't get anything from listen¬ 
ing to anybody. 

SF: What is the one thing that you hope a 
student takes with him after he com¬ 
pletes his study with you? 

EB: The concept of being able to practice 
and listen continuously. I feel that conti¬ 
nuity is the answer for playing. I always 
feel that if a drummer's sitting down, he 
should have his hands playing or work¬ 
ing on something, some movement of 
playing the drums. You can practice with 
your mind! You don't actually have to 
have drumsticks or a set of drums to sit 
down and practice drumming. You can 
practice mentally. I would hope that the 
students would take that concept away 
with them when they leave, and try to 
broaden their scope. m 

The editors are proud to an¬ 
nounce with this issue, the addition 
of DANNY GOTTLIEB to the Mod¬ 
ern Drummer Magazine Advisory 

We'd like to extend our kind 
thanks and gratitude to our new 


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by Joe Buerger 

JB: I'd like to know more about your 
musical background. 

BR: My mother was a pianist in a silent 
movie theatre so there was music in our 
home constantly. We had a baby grand 
piano in the house and I thought every¬ 
one had a piano in their home! This was 
during the Depression years, and though 
we didn't have much money for food, we 
did have a piano. 

JB: What kind of formal training did you 

BR: I started taking lessons when I was 
five years old. Fortunately, I'm from the 
midwest, which is very good drum terri¬ 
tory. My first teacher was a guy named 
Russ Gatey and he gave me a good start. 
When I was twelve we moved to Chica¬ 
go. That's where I heard Duke Ellington 
with Sonny Greer and decided that this 
was what I wanted to do. Duke was a big 
influence on me, and still is. 

In 1938 I studied with Oliver Coleman, 
the drummer with the Earl Mines band. 
He took me as far as he could and then 
sent me to Roy Knapp. There were 
about eight of us studying with Roy at 
the time and we all turned out to be 
professional musicians, which says a lot 
for Roy Knapp's teaching. Louie Bell- 
son, Sam Denoff from the Chicago Sym¬ 
phony, the Anderson brothers with the 
L.A. Symphony; we all studied with Roy 
at the time. After the lessons, we'd all go 
out to hear the great big-bands that were 
appearing in Chicago. You could go out 
and hear Jimmy Lunceford. Duke Elling¬ 
ton, Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman, 
Tommy Dorsey—they were all there. 

Later, I won the Raleigh Talent Con¬ 
test and appeared with the Tommy Dor¬ 
sey Orchestra at the Chicago Theatre. 
That band had some great musicians: 
Yank Lawson, Pee Wee Erwin, Bud 
Freeman—all the guys I work with to¬ 

I remember hearing the Chick Webb 
band. With all due respect to Buddy, 
though I think Buddy would be the first 
to say it, Chick was the most exciting 
soloist in the world. He knew how to set 

up a band. He could lay it right in their 
lap. I learned so much from him, and I'm 
still using what I learned. I play for the 
band. You have to learn this. I've had 
my head handed to me on a platter many 
times, until I finally learned to play musi¬ 

When the War broke out, I moved 
back to Illinois. I soon got drafted and I 
realized that you could get hurt shooting 
guns, so I got into the Air Force band. 
When I came out of service I played with 
several midwest dance bands, and finally 
got a job with the Henry Busse band. I 
overplayed at the time, as most young 
drummers do. We all go through that 

JB: How did you get into studio work? 
BR: My dream was to get into a staff 
radio orchestra. Television hadn't start¬ 
ed up yet. I wanted to play in New York 
or Los Angeles. I finally chose New 
York and moved in with my sister and 
brother-in-law who is Ray Charles of the 
Ray Charles Singers. Our combined in¬ 
comes came to about $35 a week. Ray 
was doing radio spots and I was doing 
club dates. But in any new town, if you 
show up on time, have a decent set of 
drums, play musically and at a reason¬ 
able volume—you'll eventually develop 
a good reputation. 

JB: How did you finally break into T.V.? 
BR: The soundtrack for the first Ciner¬ 
ama movie was cut in New York, and 
Dimitri Tiomkin wrote the music. They 
used about 14 or 15 percussionists, and 
all the good players were called for the 
date. I wasn't very well known so I 
wasn't called. But fortunately, all the 
busy guys at NBC got called which left a 
lot of holes at NBC. Skitch Henderson, 
who was very big at NBC at the time, 
heard me play at the CopaCabana and 
liked my playing. He told Dr. Roy 
Shields, head of the music department at 
NBC, about me. When Kate Smith's TV 
show began in New York with a live 
orchestra, Dr. Shields called me for the 
xylophone part on the show. I went up to 
a friend's house and recorded the theme 

to Kate's show and I stayed up all night 
and memorized my part. I really wanted 
that job! That band had some great play¬ 
ers like Doc Severinson, Will Bradley, 
Stan Getz, and many more. I played my 
part flawlessly, of course—I had memo¬ 
rized it! Consequently, I worked at NBC 
from that point on as a sub, and when the 
first vacancy occurred, they put me on 
the regular staff. I stayed twenty years. I 
played in the NBC Symphony with Tos¬ 
canini and did all the shows that originat¬ 
ed out of New York. It was incredible. I 
did the Tonight Show , the Dick Cavett 
Show , and Ernie Kovacs. Doc and I 
played in the Tonight Show orchestra, 
and I learned how to conduct from 
watching Skitch. A first-chair trumpet 
player and a drummer can make or break 
a band and Doc Severinson is the best 
first-chair trumpet player that ever lived. 
I learned a great deal from him. Eventu¬ 
ally I quit NBC and went to the Dick 
Cavett Show as conductor. I had all the 
great players in New York in that band. 
It was a wonderful jazz band. I got to 
know Gerry Mulligan and worked with 
his sextet, and I've worked with Benny 
Goodman a lot. 

JB: What advice would you give to 
young drummers who may want to do 
what you've done as a career? 

BR: First of all, go home and practice. 
Learn all styles of playing. I think Steve 
Gadd and Peter Erskine are two fine 
examples of the importance of that. As 
far as recording goes, you'll end up in 
one of several places. Film recording is 
done in California: records and jingles 
are done in New York, Dallas. Memphis 
and Nashville. Reading is very impor¬ 
tant. You don't have to be able to read 
violin parts, but you must have a good 
working knowledge. Play with as many 
different bands as possible. 

Second, keep your mouth shut and 
play! If you can't say anything nice, 
don't say anything at all. And finally, try 
to play with bass players who are better 
than you are—and learn to pick their 
brains. | ^j 



Hearing continuedfrompage 79 

half ear plugs." Custom ear molds are very exact ear plugs. 
They are available only at speciality laboratories where a mold 
is custom fitted to your ears to insure a complete fit. They are 
expensive ($35). 

"Custom-made ear molds are probably the best ear plugs 
available," says Dr. McCartney. "Since they are personally 
molded to each ear, the fit is perfect and they are very 
comfortable." If you have had trouble with plugs popping out of 
your ears or fitting poorly, try the custom molds. 

Two other alternatives are wax-impregnated cotton and 
sponge ear inserts. Both of these types can block out a lot of 
sound, particularly the E-A-R Plug, manufactured by E-A-R 
Corporation, 7911 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268. A 
disposable plug, the E-A-R probably stops too much sound for 
drummers, but if your band plays very loud and you can rely on 
vibration somewhat, they might work. 

Try many types of safety devices before giving up. I know of 
over 30 different ear protection devices, so there is bound to be 
one which suits your personal requirements. If one type blocks 
out the bell of your ride cymbal, try another! The frequency 
bands which different devices cut out vary widely. 

"It's human nature not to want to wear them," says Shaffer. 
"A drummer will say, 'Hey, I don't like this,' and take them 
out. You have to give yourself some time to get used to them." 

"Drummers are not going to want to give up that sound, and 
that's the same problem in industry too," notes McCartney. "A 
worker in a canning factory will say, 'Well, I tell that my 
machine's not working right by a slight change in the sound, and 
with ear plugs I can't hear that change.' He needs to exhaust all 
of his options, because some kind of protection is going to work 
for him." 

Practicing hearing conservation with your band is easy. In 
rehearsal, wear protection at all times. If you also sing and need 
to hear better than protection allows, save vocal practice until 
after instrumental practice, when the P.A. and amplifiers are 
turned off. If some members of the band choose not to wear ear 
protection, or feel that they can't because they must vocally 
harmonize, be considerate about how loud you play. Some of 
the stages in night clubs are very small, and if the lead singer 
must constantly be subjected to crashing cymbals and pounding 
drums, his hearing is really going to suffer—and he'll sing off- 
key. Remember: those other musicians are out in front of your 
bass & toms (and surrounded by amps), and receiving the most 
damaging low frequency bands at high volumes. A very practi¬ 
cal band purchase is a decibel meter, one which can be switched 
to the "A" weighted scale. Give it to the soundman and vote 
him veto power over the group's on-stage volume. How many 
times does your band's volume just get out of control? Giving 
the soundman or some other off-stage, impartial, qualified 
person the authority to keep the musicians from continually 
turning up their individual volumes takes the heat of that 
decision off the musicians, plus it will help to keep hearing 
threshold shifts temporary. 

Concert goers often come away from performances with 
ringing ears, but the people running the risk are the musicians. 
According to Cathleen Anne Malatino, a Pennsylvania State 
University graduate in audiology, for two to three hours, rock 
concerts regularly exceed 150% of the amount of noise the 
Federal government considers safe for an entire day. While the 
temporary threshold shifts of the audience will not accumulate, 
the musicians will be playing again the next evening, accumulat¬ 
ing permanent threshold shifts, and the drummer is right in the 
middle of it all. While sitting in his office, Dr. McCartney 
summed up our predicament well: 

"If your long-range goal is to play the drums for 10, 15 or 20 
years, you have to conserve now. You have to give up 
something in order to be able to monitor your drumming 20 
years from now. I just don't know if drummers have a choice. 
Do you want to drum for a long time—or not?" * 

Sometimes, we buy them. 
Sometimes, we sell them. 
Sometimes, we trade them. 
Sometimes, we repair them. 
Sometimes, we refinish them. 
But, ALWAYS, we love them. 

drum! “BEST DEALS. 

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State . 

Bozzio continued from page 24 

with that. I was on a lot of those Warner 
Brothers albums, but there were no cred¬ 
its or anything. Warner Brothers just did 
the artwork and shoveled those albums 
out one after another, with no informa¬ 
tion on them. And a lot of it was stuff I 
had done when I first got with Frank. 
RT: You said that you came from jazz 
and fusion music. 

TB: I was real big on fusion in the early 
seventies, but now I think it's really 
suffering. It's sort of been commercial¬ 
ized and pigeon-holed, and it's dying a 
horrible death. And also, it's just one of 
those things where it's an audience of 
musicians—music for musicians. They 
inevitably either outgrow the material 
that you're doing, or else they get to the 
point where they don't want to learn 
what a certain person may have to offer, 
and they move on. Or at least that's the 
case with myself. When I was really 
keen on learning how to play, and getting 
my technique, and learning about music, 
I was super-enthusiastic about things 
like the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Miles 
Davis and all these people. I mean I lived 
and slept that music. But now, after 
playing with Frank and sort of getting 
back into rock and roll and developing 
those aspects of my person, I really 
don't find that fusion has that much to 
offer to me anymore. And I think that's 
sort of the truth with that audience in 
general. For instance, I didn't really con¬ 
sider U.K. a fusion band. I thought the 
first album was good, but I don't think 
they had that much to say musically, 
compared to what Mahavishnu or Chick 
Corea were doing in the early seventies. 
But I found that U.K.'s audience was all 
of these young kids who were dying to 
have that kind of music played, because 
they were learning how to play. They 
were musicians. And it's just not music 
that can be accepted by a lot of people. 
Frank kind of puts it in a funny space 
too. He feels that people buy music or 
listen to music because it reinforces their 
lifestyle. So this sort of goes along with 
what I'm saying, but he thinks fusion 
music is probably listened to by people 
who drive a Mazerati and think they're a 
little cooler than the normal person. Peo¬ 
ple who wouldn't want to hear the Doo- 
bie Brothers, or whoever else is being 
played or is popular. 

RT: You replaced Bill Bruford in U.K. 
I'm always interested in how these 
things come about. 

TB: The middle year I was with Zappa, 
Eddie Jobson was in the band, and we hit 
it off real well. As a matter of fact, Frank 
wanted myself, Patrick O'Hearn and Ed¬ 
die, to form a band that he was going to 
name "The Cute Persons." This is right 
before Zoot Allures. He wanted us to put 
out our own album. And he was chang¬ 
ing the name of his band from "Frank 

Zappa and The Mothers" to just 
"Zappa." And so he wanted to have it 
"Zappa and The Cute Persons." But 
none of us were together enough to sit 
down and write some music. We were all 
just sort of learning how to play fusion 
and things like that. So we never really 
got it together, and there wasn't that 
much time. Frank kept us pretty busy. 
But we always liked each other, and 
were real good friends, me and Eddie 
and Pat. While I was with the Breckers, 
Eddie got a call from his management 
company saying that U.K. was going to 
be formed. And it was he and John 
Wetton, and Bill Bruford, and Alan 
Holdsworth. When it didn't work out 
with Bill and Alan, because they were 
wanting to play fusion and jazz and Ed¬ 
die wanted to make it more commercial¬ 
ly acceptable, they asked Bill and Alan 
to leave under the conditions that they'd 
retain the name and performance rights 
to the songs. Bill was compensated with 
a cash settlement, and the promise by 
E. G. Management that they would back 
him as leader of his own new band. They 
hired me because they wanted me to sort 
of add the high-energy rock and roll 
thing. They were changing their direc¬ 
tion away from the more fusiony jazz¬ 
like things they had done on the first 
album. So Eddie and I were sort of like 
old friends, and when we worked togeth¬ 
er with U.K., it got kind of tough, be¬ 
cause there were a lot of ego problems 
among the three people. At that point I 
wanted to start writing, but they had 
pretty much established the direction of 
the band, and it was impossible for them 
to allow me to come in with my new 
direction. They did capitalize on my 
showmanship. I guess being somebody's 
exciting rock drummer is what I do best, 
so they sort of let me share the limelight 
in that. It was good, but it just got to the 
point where I knew I had to come and do 
my own thing. And Eddie and John 
really couldn't get along, so they sort of 
broke it up. 

RT: The audience on the U.K. live al¬ 
bum sounds great. Are audiences in Ja¬ 
pan much different than they are here? 
TB: Yeah, in general. I guess ever since 
the war they've sort of been heavily 
influenced by the American way of life. 
They've become very industrialized, and 
man, theyjust have unbelievable respect 
and admiration for anything from the 
west. It doesn't even have to be good. I 
mean they can tell the difference be¬ 
tween good and bad, but theyjust seem 
to be such a warm people in general. 
Their whole way of life, and their think¬ 
ing and upbringing is completely differ¬ 
ent from that sort of critical western- 
world thing. And you can go over there 
and re-enact Beatle-like fantasies, be¬ 
cause there's always tons of people ask¬ 
ing for autographs everywhere you go. 



It's real easy to get a big head. It's great. 
RT: When I saw U.K. in Oakland, you 
were using your Roto-tom set. How long 
have you been using those, and do you 
still use them? 

TB: Yeah, I'm a convert. Zappa wanted 
me to use a full set of Roto-toms so I 
could be seen more. After the first tour 
with him he said, "Hey, check these new 
things out." And I said "Yeah, these are 
great." But at the time I didn't have the 
mentality or the people to build me some 
sort of tom-tom holder where I could get 
them set up in a way that was comfort¬ 
able for me to play. They were very 
flimsy, and I had no idea how to really 
engineer the whole thing. But by the time 
I got with U.K., and after hearing how 
good they sounded with Bruford on the 
first U.K. album, I said, "Yeah, definite¬ 
ly I want to get into this." I had an 
excellent roadie by the name of Graham 
Davies, and he is sort of a race car 
mechanic and what not. So I would give 
him these ideas, and he would realize 
them for me with different knick-knacks 
and what-nots. Mainly, he used that 
Roto-tom adaptor and little pieces of 
steel rod. We got a 360-degree flexible 
type of Roto-tom holder. And I used all 
Rotos and I continue to do that. I'm now 
using Tama drums though; fiberglass 
bass drums and their chrome snare 
drum. I use Paiste cymbals, and I contin¬ 
ue to use the Cameo pedals. I use all 
Remo black-dot heads, and the Pro Mark 
drum sticks. I use the 808s or the 707s, 
whatever is available. 

RT: The Cameo bass drum pedal. Is that 
the chain pedal? 

TB: No, I had the chain for awhile, 
around the time of the "Black Page" 
with Zappa. I did that while I was on the 
road in New York. I had them all con¬ 
verted because I thought they would be 
great, but to me they weren't right. I 
have a way of playing where I'll sort of 
hit once and the bass drum will rebound 
twice, and that's how I get a double 
stroke. It isn't actually my foot going 
"boom boom" two times. I couldn't 
make the chain drive do that. I had to do 
it with my foot two times, and it was 
very uncomfortable for me. So I 
switched back to the nylon straps. And I 
use those Rogers black nylon beater 
balls. I use those because I like the 
attack they have. You know how the 
fiberglass and wood beater balls are real¬ 
ly destructive to heads. I couldn't use 
one for one song without ruining the 
head. What I do is, I cut out a piece of a 
broken drum head, about four inches 
square, and tape that onto the spot 
where the beater ball hits. You can get a 
little more mileage, and also it adds a 
little more to that dicky attack sound 
which is good for live. The Rotos are 
great for live too, because the micro¬ 
phone just can't hear the depth of a tom¬ 

tom. What really gives the depth to a 
tom-tom is a room, and unfortunately 
you're in too big of a room for it to be 
effective. The only thing that really cuts 
through in a live concert situation in a big 
arena is the attack. You can sort of EQ in 
the bottom and the depth to a Rota, on 
the board, whereas you can't really get 
the same attack out of a two-headed tom¬ 
tom to compensate for the presence that 
you need. So that's my main reason for 
using the Rotos —they have a ton of 

RT: Do you feel that the stick response is 
as good on the Rotos? 

TB: Not as good as a double-headed 
tom. But I also have kind of gotten away 
from the little notes, you know what I 
mean? I use mainly single strokes for 
everything, and a lot of flams and stuff. I 
never use a lot of fast sort of hand to 
hand combinations, or anything that 
could be lost with the use of a Roto-tom. 
And they usually don't come through 
when you do that kind of thing on a tom¬ 
tom anyway. But in most electronically 
boosted situations, the Rotos are much 
better, I think, than the regular toms. 
RT: Earlier you mentioned Mark Isham 
and Peter Maunu. You did an album with 
them called Group 87. 

TB: Right, yeah. It was right after high 
school when we met. And Mark was 
responsible mainly for turning me and 
Pete and practically everybody else on to 
Miles and Coltrane and all these people. 
We used to jam all the time and we 
would play Tony Williams Lifetime mu¬ 
sic and stuff. We're best friends, and 
musically we're all sort of in the same 
head space. I quit Zappa to join that 
band, Group 87. It was originally going 
to have Peter Wolf as well, but what 
ultimately came about was Peter went 
back with Frank Zappa. And then, when 
we had further discussions, they didn't 
want to pursue a rock and roll band 
avenue, which I wanted to. I had worked 
at all this stuff, wearing the devil's mask 
and everything with Frank, and had de¬ 
veloped that within myself, and I wanted 
to play rock and roll. I wanted to play 
good music as well, but I didn't want to 
forfeit that side of my career. And they 
said, "Well, what we do best is play 
instrumental music, and that's what 
we're happy to do if that's the case." 
They didn't have enough trust in my 
vocals or my lyric writing, which was 
probably a good thing at the time, be¬ 
cause we had never really written togeth¬ 
er as a band. So I dropped out. But since 
they're my best friends, and I love them 
and their music, I said, "Look, call me 
when you get the date, and I'll play on 
the album. I'm just going to have to look 
for some other things because I don't 
think that this is going to be what I want 
to do ultimately." They finally got the 
dates set up, and during a break I had 

with U.K., we made that Group 87 al¬ 
bum. I love their music and stuff, but 
unfortunately I'm very business minded, 
and that music doesn't fit into any pi¬ 
geon-hole that the business people of the 
music world, like the record execs, can 
put it in. 

RT: Which leads us to your new band, 
Missing Persons. 

TB: Right. I finished with U.K., and 
said, "I've just got to do my own thing." 
But during the last year with U.K., my 
wife Dale, and Warren (guitarist Warren 
Cucurullo), had made a few little tapes, 
and brought them out to me while I was 
on the road. I travel with Dale—I bring 
her just about everywhere. She has an 
incredible voice, and I said, "This stuff 
is quite interesting, and bizarre, and 
we're going to form a band." The chem¬ 
istry is amazing between us. So we've 
been writing, and have gotten it together. 
Ken Scott is really interested in us. He 
produced our four-song EP, and now a 
few record companies and distributors 
are interested, and so we're just hashing 
out all of that stuff. 

RT: So you're doing a lot of composing? 
TB: Yeah. My wife and myself and War¬ 
ren all write. It's sort of a group effort. 
We sort of hash things around. Different 
people come up with different aspects of 
the final product. We've been using dif¬ 
ferent keyboard players, keyboard bass 
and stuff, but pretty much all the music 
they play is my own. I tell them what 
they need to play. We've just gotten all 
this music together, and we're trying to 
sell it now. 

RT: You are a lyricist aren't you? 

TB: Yeah, I started getting ideas about 
writing after being with Frank. He's an 
amazing person, you know. And just 
being around him you can sort of see 
how everything is done. If you're really 
astute enough, you can leave there with 
enough knowledge to really do whatever 
you want. But I suppose the thing that's 
against everyone who's played with him 
is that he's so strong and so popular. 
People compare what you did with him 
to whatever you're doing now. It's going 
to take years of strength and keeping at it 
before it's sort of equal in the eyes of a 
fan. Also, nobody works as hard as 
Frank. Out of all the people I've met in 
the world, he's amazing. 

RT: Are you singing a lot these days? 
TB: I' m only singing background so far 
with this band. My wife hasn't really 
sung before; we've been just sort of 
developing her talents. She's a front per¬ 
son, and I want to get that together 
before I start to sing. From the audi¬ 
ence's standpoint, it's really hard to sell 
something from behind the drums. I 
think ultimately maybe I'll sing two or 
three numbers a show or something, 
because it is a nice break, and gives 

continued on page 96 






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some variation to what's happening. But 
aside from that, I think the main thing to 
get it across should be her. I'm not 
looking to do a U.K., or a Zappa, or a 
Brecker Brothers, or anything like that. 
I'm sort of trendy in what I like. I like the 
more modern, simpler things. Like I 
really like Gary Numan, and Ultravox, 
and Brian Eno—things they do. And 
Susie and the Banchees have a nice 
album out right now. The Peter Gabriel 
album that came out last year is one of 
my favorite things, and David Bowie's 
new stuff is great too. 

RT: I heard that Jerry Marotta didn't use 
any cymbals on that Gabriel album. 

TB: On tour he had a real dead ride 
cymbal that he used at the ends of cer¬ 
tain songs, but yeah, mainly it was just 
hi-hat and tom-toms and stuff, which is a 
nice concept. I'll leave it at that. I'm 
more drumistic than I am ride cymbal 
oriented. I'm not using a ride cymbal 
now. I have two of these combination 
China double cymbal things. There's 
such a myriad of things you can do with 
cymbals. I have one crash on either 
side—an 18" and a 20", 2002, that I use 
for the normal sustained crash sound. 
But basically I'm using these dark Chi¬ 
nas, with an inverted thin hi-hat cymbal 
inside. So it's like double cymbals, and 
they rattle against each other, and sort of 

get this dead, white-noise thing. So the 
attack is there, but the sustain is gone—it 
immediately dies out. I have two of those 
kind of up high. And then I have, on my 
right side, an 18" and a 20" dark crash 
Paiste that are sitting on top of each 
other, so they also get this kind of white- 
noise sound. And on top of that I have a 
closed hi-hat that I use for ride purposes, 
and then a cymbal bell. I found that since 
I'm not playing jazz anymore, the only 
thing I want a cymbal for is to sort of 
have a click or a white noise kind of 
crash, or a ping like a cymbal bell. I 
don't use the normal ride sound. I don't 
want that. I found that I sort of OD'd on 
that in my years with Zappa and I don't 
really like the way it sounds when you 
play it back. I don't think it fits into a 
modern approach to music. I use a lot of 
hi-hat, and try to be melodic with my 
sounds and with the beats that I do. Sort 
of like what I did with U.K. on "Ronde- 
vous 602," and what I did with Group 

RT: You have the bell of a cymbal that's 
been cut out? 

TB: No, it's what Paiste calls an 8" bell 
cymbal. It's quite thick, and if you hit it 
in just the right place, it sounds very 
close to a cymbal bell, especially when 
you're playing live. Through the PA it's 
close enough. And that way it eliminates 
having this huge 22 inches of metal that 
I'm not using there, and which I'm very 
tempted to hit, but which washes every¬ 
thing out. So yeah, I just use that, and 
Rotos, and two Tama 24" fiberglass bass 
drums, and their deep chrome snare 
drum. Ultimately I'm going to have a set¬ 
up of Syndrums. I had an interface with 
U.K. that allowed me to trigger my toms 
and snares and bass. The microphones 
would send a signal to the Syndrums and 
trigger those. So I could double my bass 
drum sound. And I'm using those 
Snypers now, by Tama. I use a couple of 
them on my bass drums, and I'm going to 
have a Synare on my snare. So essential¬ 
ly I'm going to double the acoustic sound 
of my drum set with synthesized things, 
to fatten it up and also to have strange 
effects. It's unfortunate—I've never 
really been recorded for a drum solo. I 
did some great ones with Zappa, and I 
did some good ones with U.K. too, but 
none of them have ever gone on record. 
But in this film I did, Baby Snakes, with 
Zappa, there's a huge section of a drum 
solo that I did. He sort of cut out my use 
of Syndrums, but I do some interesting 
things with them. I used to make them do 
all kinds of strange things, and play in a 
kind of free space way with them. Also, I 
would set up different things with a 
square wave sound that would keep kind 
of a pulse. I would play on top of that 
and let that keep the beat. I'd always 
make some kind of structure like a com¬ 
position, for my solos, that I could do 

whatever I wanted technically within. 
Just to use all the techniques I like, and 
all the textures that I like, and have sort 
of kept with. You learn all this stuff, and 
certain things filter through that you 
think are effective and you use, and 
other things you just don't. It seems like 
marching, and buzzes, and double 
strokes, and presses, and all these 
things, I'm just totally far away from. 
But flams, and more African influenced 
percussive things I'm more into. 

RT: So your solos are never exactly the 
same, but you have a sort of framework. 
TB: Yeah. I'll start out with a theme 
maybe, something to grab the audience's 
attention. I never really keep a beat in 
my solos either, because I play time all 
night behind the songs, and when it 
comes time for a drum solo, I usually 
play more of a free space kind of thing. 
Sometimes I go into certain sections of 
time, but for the most part I don't. And I 
would do like maybe one statement, and 
then improvise a section, or have a cer¬ 
tain section that would always be impro¬ 
vised on certain instruments. Like a cer¬ 
tain technique of maybe cross sticking 
on tom-toms. And then go to another 
section that would be maybe a lot of 
cymbal jabs with snare drum beats in 
between, doubling the cymbals with my 
feet. On other sections I would play a 
phrase on my tom-toms, answer with my 
double bass fills, and then sort of build it 
to a peak and end. It always seemed to 
be fairly effective, and at least different 
than whatever anyone else was doing, 
which I'm proud of. Especially when 
you have to fit within the confines of 
doing a rock drum solo at a rock concert. 
You can't go out there and use every¬ 
thing. It's sort of hard. Most people just 
do the same double bass "booga-booga" 
bullshit, with the Gene Krupa stuff on 
top of it, that's been done for years. The 
audience sort of expects that, and when 
you do something different, and it still 
holds their concentration, and they like it 
and accept it, it's real pleasing. When I 
first went out with Frank, I used to do 
everything; just play whatever I wanted 
every night, and be completely free. I 
was more jazz influenced and avant- 
garde influenced at that point. I would do 
a lot of just anything that came into my 
mind. The solos were always different 
every night. And then, because they 
were a little bit more intellectual, some¬ 
times the audience couldn't relate to 
them. Like if I started out with a bang, 
and then tapered out to nothing on the 
general scheme of things, they couldn't 
relate to that. So you have to come up 
with structures and compositional 
themes and things that they can relate to, 
and that are effective and so-called excit¬ 

RT: Are you doing any sessions in Los 



TB: Not many, no. I'm not that kind of a 
person. I tried, you know. I'd love to do 
that stuff. I've only done maybe a half a 
dozen or a dozen sessions since I've 
moved to L.A. It's a weird situation 
because the sound and whether you're 
good or bad is up to whoever is in 
control, and if they just happen to like 
what I do, that's great. But for the most 
part, what I do is not acceptable for the 
things that I get called for. I'm always 
finding that I'll just sort of play the role 
of a Steve Gadd, or a Jeff Porcaro, or 
whatever the music calls for. You have 
to have that kind of head to do that kind 
of work. You have to be very open, and 
you have to have a variety of sounds 
available, so that you can please whatev¬ 
er jerk is sitting behind the control 
board. If someone wants the heads on, 
or if they want the heads off, or if they 
want a bright cymbal or if they want a 
dead cymbal ... I mean I'm not into 
going in there and having them play the 
latest record through the control room, 
and trying to get my snare drum to sound 
like that. I'm not into that. I don't really 
enjoy it, although the money is great. I 
would do it if it was offered to me, but I 
don't really pursue it. I've made a few 
phone calls to try and get into that, but 
when it didn't just come, like everything 
else that I've ever done just came, I'm 
not going to force it, and hang out and 
go, "Yo babe, let's track," with all those 
guys down there. I'm just not that kind 
of person. 

RT: Do you ever rehearse in front of a 
mirror to work on your stage appear¬ 

TB: Before I got a drum set I saw Ringo 
Starr on the Ed Sullivan Show, and sort 
of sat in front of a mirror in our dining 
room in a chair, and completely mim¬ 
icked him. By the time I got a drum set, 
nobody had to tell me how to play. I 
already knew how to cross my right hand 
over my left hand, and play four beats 
with my right foot. I knew all the things. 
I would just work it out in the mirror and 
go, "Yeah, this is what he did." But 
ultimately I'm just sort of an emotional 
person, and that'sjust what I do. No one 
ever told me to play that way. And I 
guess if anyone's responsible, it's Frank, 
for sort of building my confidence, and 
giving me the opportunity to go crazy. 
I'd jump off my stool in drum solos, and I 
used to wear makeup and the devil's 
mask, and sing about Punky's whips, 
and spit and fight and kick my way 
through shows. Once I got that bold, and 
saw that people liked it, I just kept doing 
it. It is just part of my nature. I'm not 
that way for the most part. I'm basically 
very shy and conservative. But when I 
get out there behind the drums, I get to 
let loose, and that's what I do. It's loads 
of fun. I live for it. I'll tell you the truth: I 
just live for performing. I® 



1979—AUGUST: Billy Gobham, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Cobb, Don Lamond, 
Repairing Snare Drums, Gladstone Technique. 

OCTOBER: Gene Krupa Tribute Issue (bio, discography, photos, 
transcriptions) Michael Shrieve, Syndrum, Vari-Pitch, 

DECEMBER: Danny Seraphine, Barriemore Barlow, Michael Carvin, 
Bob Moses, Pro Percussion-NY, Brushes. 

1980—APRIL: Neil Peart, Paul Motian, Fred Begun, Inside Remo, Sling- 
erfand Contest Results, The Club Scene. 

JUNE: Carl Palmer, Derek Pellicci. Bill Goodwin, Great Jazz 
Drummers Part I, Pol! Results. 

AUGUST: Chet McCracken & Keith Knudsen (Doobie Bros ), Joe 
Cocuzzo, Ed Greene, Inside Star Instruments, GJD: Part 2. 

OCTOBER: Louie Bel Ison, Mick Fleetwood, Roy Haynes, Gadd Rock 
Rhythms, New Equipment Review (NAMM) 

DECEMBER: 5th Anniversary Issue; Buddy Rich, Rock Drummers of 
the 80’s, Great Jazz Drummers, Weightlifting and Drum¬ 

1981—FEBRUARY: Peter Criss, Rick Marotta, John Bonham, Rod Morgen- 
stein, George Marsh, Care & Feeding of Drums. 

All Back Issues, $3.50 per copy. 

Yes, I’ve missed some copies! Please send me the issues listed below. 



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Mail To; Modern Drummer, Back Issue Service, 1000 Clifton Avenue, Clifton, N.J, 


























Simmons SDS5 
Modular Drum 

by Bob Saydlowski, Jr. 

A major development in drum synthe¬ 
sis is about to unfold. Practically every 
instrument in the contemporary group 
has gone electric and/or synthesized, and 
now the second generation of drum 
synths is upon us. 

I recently met with British inventor 
Dave Simmons for a demonstration of 
his SDS5 drum synth, which I think, is 
probably the innovation of the past five 

The Simmons SDS5 sets up and plays 
just like a regular drum kit. Component 
choices are left up to the purchaser, from 
a 4-piece kit, to a double bass drum 
monster-size set-up, depending on how 
much one is willing to spend. The SDS5 
kit I saw incorporated snare, bass drum, 
three toms, and an electronic hi-hat. 

Each drum is actually a hexagon¬ 
shaped pad measuring 14" across by 2 1/4" 
deep, excepting the bass drum which is 
22" across. The pads are constructed of 
acrylic and polycarbonate materials, 
which I'm told, is the same material used 
in police riot shields. It's pretty well 
indestructible. The bass drum is free¬ 
standing on two large spurs, and will 
accept mounting of any popular drum 
pedal. The other pads set up on Pearl 989 
tom-tom stands, using their AX-3 adap¬ 
tors to mount more than two pads on a 
single stand. All are fully adjustable for 
height, angle and distance. The pads 
have aluminum rims which are also 
"live," and the snare is developed so 
that a rim shot will yield a slightly differ¬ 
ent sound. Mounted in each shell, next 
to the arm receiver, is a male cannon 
jack for cable plug-in. 

Playing the pads takes a little getting 
used to at first, as it's much like playing 
on a table top. They are definitely re¬ 
sponsive, and even allow for accurate 
buzz rolls. The player is able to retain his 
own personal style and technique. 

The brain of the SDS5 is a 19" rack 

(also available in a free-standing encased 
chassis) which houses the power supply, 
input and output jacks, mixer volume 
and pad sensitivity controls. Each pad 
has its own plug-in module set in the 
front panel of the brain. The rack can 
accommodate up to seven modules. The 
modules measure 2" x 5" and are re¬ 
leased from the chassis by four screws, 
allowing easy access if service is ever 
needed. One good feature of this modu¬ 
lar system is, if a module ever fails, only 
that module and not the entire set-up, 
need be sent out for servicing. One 
would still have the rest of the kit to use. 

Each module is designed for a specific 
sound (snare cannot produce bass drum 
etc.) and there are four memories in each 
module. One memory is preset at the 
factory. Memory 2 is user-programmed 
by knob-operated pots. Memory 3 and 4 
are programmed by trimmer pots dupli¬ 
cating the functions of the knobs and are 
easily adjusted with a small screwdriver. 
Recalling a memory for performance is 
quick and simple. Press the correspond¬ 
ing button for that memory and the 
sound that has been programmed in is 
ready to use. Each module also has an 
I.ED showing which memory is in use, 
as well as an LED that flashes every time 
the connected pad is hit. With all the 
available memories and modules, one 
could conceivably have a 24-piece kit. 

The modules each have the same con¬ 
trols, but as I said, the parameter of each 
module has been altered to produce cer¬ 
tain sounds relative to that module. The 
program controls are: noise pitch, tone 
pitch, bend, decay time, noise-tone bal¬ 
ance, and click-tone balance. The tone 
pitch offers a full spectrum from Roto- 
toms to large tympani. An acoustic drum 
falls off in pitch by only a few semi¬ 
tones; this is duplicated by the bend 
control. Exaggerated use of the control 

would make the regular drum sound un¬ 
natural, but it would enable you to get 
Syndrum-type sounds, though that's not 
its intended function. Decay controls the 
length of the sound. The click control 
balances the level of drumstick attack to 
the drum sound itself. 

Pad sensitivity can be controlled for 
each drum separately to suit your own 
style of playing, allowing complete dy¬ 
namic control. The sensitivity on the 
SDS5 is the best I've seen on any drum 
synth. The rack also contains separate 
volume controls for each drum. 

The rear of the rack offers separate 
pad outputs, or a single output which 
sends a mix of the drums as dictated by 
the front panel volume settings. The 
SDS5 is also capable of sending out in 
stereo left and right. The drums may be 
triggered from an external synthesizer, 
sequencer, click track, etc. One British 
drummer is using a Roland Micro-Com¬ 
poser to program and play the drums. 
And there is also an input for the hi-hat 
foot pedal. 

The tom-tom modules can reproduce 
from a Roto-tom to a tympani, and they 
are all genuine sounds. The bass drum, 
depending on programming, can range 
from "studio-tight," to very open and 
ringy. I was most impressed with the 
sound capabilities. It should be borne in 
mind that four sounds are available for 
each pad, all switchable instantly. One 
could have four different snare sounds at 
hand for live performance. All the drums 
have incredible punch, and are capable 
of studio-treated drum sounds, as well as 
more open, acoustic type sounds. Grant¬ 
ed, the sound is not a mirror image of a 
normal drum, but it comes the closest of 
anything else I've ever heard. 

Simmons has also developed a hi-hat 
module which was used in the SDS5 set¬ 
up I saw. Admittedly, the hi-hat sound is 



an effect rather than a facsimile. It uses a 
noise generator to create its sound. The 
hi-hat can "open" and "close" via a 
volume-type foot pedal which basically 
affects the decay time. However, there is 
one problem. When the pedal is left 
open, some hi-hat sound leaks onto the 
snare drum pad. A digitally-controlled 
hi-hat using real sounds is in the works, 
as is an electronic ride/crash cymbal. 

Obviously, a decent amplification sys¬ 
tem should be used with the kit. The 
SDS5 can go direct into any P.A., ampli¬ 
fier; even a studio board. 

The pads are available with either 
black or white playing surfaces and there 
is a wide selection of shell colors. Since 
the colors are injected from the inside, 
there is no way of chipping or scratching 
them off. Another attraction, for the cre¬ 
ative mind, is that the pads may be made 
in any shape desired. The back page of 
the brochure depicts a Human Heads 

An SDS Sequencer is being developed 
which will enable the user to program up 
to 32 songs of any duration, and the 
drums can play back themselves. By the 
way, the SDS5 will also trigger off of 
normal drums via a microphone, pickup, 

Remember player reaction to the first 
Moog synthesizer? The first electric 
bass? After players realized the advan¬ 
tages and possibilities, mass acceptance 
soon followed. The Simmons SDS5 is a 
"break in tradition," but it is so revolu¬ 
tionary, it could totally replace a conven¬ 
tional drum kit in some situations. Also, 
only a floor tom case and trap case is 
needed to pack and transport the com¬ 
plete kit. The possibilities are endless, 
especially in the studio, where you could 
get your drum sound in a matter of 
minutes saving valuable studio time. 
Then, if desired, flanging, phasing, de¬ 
lay, or other effects could be added. 
There is no leakage of sound, since there 
are no microphones. With more and 
more electronic bands coming into light, 
the SDS5 should have a definite position. 

The Simmons SDS5 currently sells for 
approximately $3,500 and comes com¬ 
plete with stands and cables. Simmons 
does have an impressive demo cassette 
available, but the drums really have to be 
heard live to be appreciated. Dave Sim¬ 
mons has also devised a "suitcase set¬ 
up" of SDS5 pads. All the pads are 
scaled-down and fit into a small flight 
case which can be hand-carried. Ideal for 
overdubs in the studio. As of this writ¬ 
ing, the SDS5 is a bit difficult to find in 
the U.S., though the company is at¬ 
tempting to set up a dealer network. For 
more information, contact: Musicaid, 
176 Hatfield Road, St. Albans, Herts. 


The Percussion Program 










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I n the Percussion Program, you play, play, play from trios to 40 piece orchestras, in 
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can be found on instrument stands, too. Hohner 
heavy-duty drum and guitar stands are a great 
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complete Hohner line at your music store. 


M Hohner. Inc., Hicksvi!le,NY. 
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Don Mills, Ontario 



Anything to sell or trade? Looking to buy? A 
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FUNK by Roberto Petaccia. 138 pages de¬ 
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phrasing capability and ambidexterity within 
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proach to playing in ODD METERS for the 
drum set, in the FUNK'ROCK idiom. Includes 
warm-ups, patterns and fills in 11 different 
meters. Easy to understand and easy to read* 
Send check or M.O. for $5.50 (Outside U.S.A, 
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ATTENTION DRUMMERS! Like to get that 
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Enclose $7 plus 75c for postage & handling: 
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Send for free 1981 catalog. 

LOUIE BELLSON SAYS: *'A great book! I'll 
buy the first copy and woodshed it/’ Get your 
DRUM TEXT by Bill Meligari! Try this original 
method and improve your coordination whelh* 
er or not you play double bass! For beginners 
to advanced. Send $6.50 to Bill Meligari, 16 
Railroad Ave., Wayne. NJ 07470. 

GAE. ROCK". Revealing reviews of this "pop" 
music, conga drum, self-teaching guide are in 
Dec, 1980 s DOWN BEAT (page 67), and 
PERCUSSIVE NOTES. (Winter 1981, page 
57), Also refer to Dec, 80Uan. Bi s issue of 
MODERN DRUMMER (page 103), Your free 
photo-illustrated brochure, and complete de¬ 
tails on “CONGA DRUMMING" are available 
from Congeros Publications, Dept. MD, P,Q, 
Box 1387. Ontario, California 91762 (USA). 

Self-Instructor and Teacher s Guide for any 
beginner, 100 pages, $8. Or send for free 
information, JACK VAN DER WYK, Box 
13064, Station E, Oakland, CA 94661. 

WEAK HAND fN NO TIME! Speed up your 
practicing pace! Watch the amazing progress! 
Step-by-step, proven exercises by COORD I* 
you how! For booklet send $4.00 to: COORDI¬ 
3655 T. O. Blvd., Box 5030, Westlake Village, 
CA 91362. 

THE SOLO VIBIST Vol. f—’Tom Brown— 
Learn vibraphone by playing enjoyable, easy 
solos, $5.00 + 75c post. hdg. PERMUS PUB¬ 
LICATIONS. P.O. Box 02033, Columbus, OH 
43202, Over 50 percussion works available, 
write for free catalog. 

Olmstead—description, suggested exercises, 
$1,50 + 50C post.vhdg. PERMUS PUBLICA¬ 
TIONS, P.O. Box 02033, Columbus, OH 

NOTES." Excellent drumset book recom¬ 
mended by Jim Chapin. Send $3.00 to: Den¬ 
nis Venuti, 1212 Mollbore Terrace. Philadel¬ 
phia, PA 19148 


The unimate from basic to State of the Art. 
(jazz, rock, fusion). Discover the depth of the 
shuffle. Send $4.00 and 750 for postage and 
handling (outside U,SA send $2) to: Chet 
Doboe, 427 Uniondale Avenue, Uniondale, 
NY 11553 

SECRETS on how to play like the man who 
smashed his way to the top of Rock & Roll! 
BON20 BEATS shows you what to play in 
detail on the most popular songs ever heard! 
Be the first on your block to get this special 
limited edition. Order Now! Only $7.95 + 
$1,00 handling, Check'M.O,; Newton Press, 
528 S. Guadalupe. Redondo Beach, CA 

"SpeedControl Developer" . .. $5.50 + ,75 
post.: "Perfecting The Flam" ,. . $5,00 + ,75 
662A, Lewes, DE 19958 

NEWTOWN* PA 18940. (215) 968*2333 
(215) 673-3105, 

Latham—The New Contemporary Drum Set 
Book That Everyone Is Talking About! A new 
approach to Funk-Rock techniques in the 
styles of today's leading players. Including 
transcriptions of Gadd. Mason, Brown, Gari* 
baidi and more. Hundreds of patterns that 
improve technique and build your Funk Drum¬ 
ming vocabulary. Send $6.95 f $1.00 post¬ 
age for book or $10,00 + $1.00 for cassette 
tapes of the entire book. Rick Latham. P.O. 
Box 12452 Dallas, Texas 75225. 



Klnna Conans ( 5 j bpuks which cover the 
entire ROCK field S&tos, Sfteed endurance 
studies 1 ot hands & feet. Disco, Jazs, Lai?n 
plug a study ki Commercial & Etrintc rhyttuos. 
Totfli value I 1 4,00 —YOUR PRICE $}Q,QQ. 
Send chech or M O to DENNY KfNNE, Dept, 
M'S, £02 Auburn Ave. Staten (aland. IHY 

A Volume cri InsK uaien For the Orem is an 
advanced method. FNe ditfereni lorn-ala to 
Challenge your imegmalidn and co-ordination. 
Send £5.56 lo STEVE FAULKNER. 1565 
Robb SI.. Lakewood, GO 802IS 

Perfect Rhythm Made Easy, A Breehlhrough 
Formula for ALL MU5C Ready application 
Qua re meed Free detail Oxford House. 
24GQ-M9 Grirdley Park H Dearborn, Mich 

STAFF) 9b payers and 3bouf lapo cati&otl os 
transcribed lunk ceais-salus. Learn Cobh am. 
Gadd Garibaldi, Guerin, Maggn, others Com¬ 
plete S2&.4&. Soak alone $9.50. JOBbiJNG 
DATE HAND&DOK with 2-hOur tgs&sftes 
" learn io eam play alt styles jarz-La(m-disco- 
Qreek. etc. Complete $16,00. Book alone 
S6 OO ‘Boss 1 Rossa Nova hundreds ol 
Brush-slick pane ms beginner (o pro SS 00 
thousands of Rock Patterns $5.00 each, $9.00 
both. Optional tape ca. sseltee $13 00 Volume 
i Postpaid- Tony Caselli Publications, 79 E. 
Wildwood Drive. Uarrmglflfl, M BOD 10 (312) 


MUSIC DIVISION. Entimed by L&u-e Sellson 
and Cla T k Terry. Unique practical 1 year ac- 
ciedited program. Programs in Aj-plled Instru¬ 
ment and‘or Appied Voice. Arranging and 
Composition. We train amateurs and semt- 
prgfpBstanals !a become podorming musi¬ 
cians. Fqr mere mforma-ion; call or write; 
Modern School. Performing Music Division. 
113 Union Sired. Providence. Rl 05903, 



Alt styles ol drumming. Beginning io ad¬ 
vanced EmphSsiS un studio sesston pitying, 
reading, imprpvraalHWi, conslrucltng solosu 
and I ho creative rtevolopmerT of ideas 3 
convenraui locations 1 New Yoik. North and 
C&nhal Jersey Gall 201 759-4545 

DRUMMERS’ Learn ALL Styles of drumming 
on ALL the percussion inslrumenls. including 
malrels. Car fo; appeinlrnenl al 914-592- 
9693. John Bock Drum Studio. Hillview Place. 
Elmsfcrd NY 10523 

WEST ORANGE. N.J. 07052 (201) 736-3113 

DRUM INSTRUCTION 1 Regin ners, intern so i- 
aie. Advanced—all alyla$. Fully equipped stu¬ 
dio. oonventera Manhattan locaimn A com- 

pneheneively applied program designed lo de 
veiop all aspects 01 drum leChnlque. 
CHARLES DAVIOMAN (212) 242-0165. 


LAND, OHIO 44614. 

$50.00 lor both Call Buck (201) 780-4324. 


drummers, satisfaction GUARAN¬ 

Gorder Drum Co. has boughl out me Rbes 
Drum Go Many pahs available Drums cov¬ 
ered, 6 and & ply maple shells for do-il- 
yeurseifers, completed drum sets, and match¬ 
ing corps orurns. New patented GD-5A and 
CD-SB sticks Write for free calalag. GORDER 
DRUM CO., 2607 Triana Blvd. SW, Huntsville, 
AL 35B0h (205) 634-8406. Sea uur ad on 
page 75 Stout drumsticks. 

Winkler DRUM SHELLS Hand-crafted 6-ply 
maple shell, all bass drum sizes are 3-ply Any 
btiplli or size available Winkler Accessories, 
104 Gall atm Road, Maoison, Tennessee 
37115 f6IS) HGS-&P92. 

CLOSEOUT 11 Hickory drumsticks with nyfon 
tips i! $1.35 parr minimum 3 pair tats Sizes 
7A, 5A, Jazz. Combo. Remit Io ’ STICKS ", 
Boa 50, Milford MA 01757. 

bumper slickers Ailraaive dark blue tetter*. 
Great gill uua Guaranteed. Send Si 00 tc 
Oid McGregor. 2i6 Spruce St. Manchester, 
CT 06040. 

SHELLS—Two complete -mea of oty shella- 
one ol 9 ply <3-6*} for the lighter acoustic 
p-aylng and one of 12 ply 11.'2") for heavy 
power projection 

SHELL—a 15 ply hand craftad Instrument 
cun&Lfucled lor ihe maximum projection and 
durability m a Wood Snare Shall. All Shsl s ere 
available unfinished, or ir. Natural Wood 
Gl&SSeS or Orts Fames Dn,im Co . 239 Hsmif- 
ton St. Saugus. Mass 01906 (617)233* 1404 

FIBRE Cases’FLIGHT Cases.. Top name 
brand at lowesi prices. Mainstream Pe-rcus- 
SiOn, StD Nonh IBtb St Marshalltown. IA 

REMQ DRUM HEADS ftolu-Tom& at a big 
savings! Prepaid irpight Writs lor 1 F ee catalog. 
P, F D'ADD ARID. INC . Drummers Suppi-es, 
5065 Mftin Si TrumbulL CT 06611- Tel No 

PEARL PARTS—Thousands of new (old 
slock) pahs lor 800 senes stands and com 
holders, tf It's parts you need, call us al 
104 Galtalm Hoad. Madison,. Tennessee, 

BOX 5126. POLAND. OHIO 44514 

wave music Tha new single by Von Seat on 
VVV Recttfds featuring (he hit "‘SyrHh^LiC Envi¬ 
ronment. S3. Von Beet. 3424 Kingsbury, Ft. 
Worth. TX ?6H6. 

MILESTONE DRUMS. 9“ * S . lO'^lO" 
IGf x 12\ 11" m 13\ 17“ x 16" TO MIS ^ 
13' ■ 22" BASS DRUM. 9“ v IB', x 12". 
15" x 14" TOMS: ir* 18' BASS DRUM ALL 
AT 215 449 2947 

TFM A specially designed portable melro- 
ngme featuring MM [^) marking tncruased 
volume, l £0 display, amplifier mpm. balieiy 
AC adaptor mol included) and STEREO 
HEADPHONE JACK a feature Om?rted on 
compelKive unite Haven't you wailed long 
•enough? Send 139.95 ■* £2.00 fo' oostage & 
handling lo TIME-CHECK. 40 BROOME ST , 
N BABYLON, NY 11703. 

n'rfjrffimJ i mi ftitii*' ift? 



Billy Cobham doesn't 
have four hands, 
he just sounds 
like it. 

Billy's two hands hold 
the oil new fp&cnsrfc 
drumsticks. They help 
him sound better And 
ppc-fnai* can help you 
sound better, too. 

Sold by Itie 
best music stores 
around the world 


10706 Craighead 
Houston.. Texas 




Wm. Krafl |E,A.M.| 

$ 15.00 

John Beck (Studio 4 

$ 3.00 
Wm, Schinstine 
(Southern Music Co.) 

Sieve Traugh 
(O.A.M.E. Press) 

$ 12.00 

Vic Firth (Carl Fischer) 

$ 5.95 

Send check or money order 
(Calif, residents add 6% sales tax) to 


Drum Market continued from page !0I 

RECOVER YOUR DRUMS in classic black or 
white. A five piece set costs Jess than $50. 
Send 25c for samples, information and prices. 
Ave.. Cincinnati, Ohio 45211. 


Help Wanted: $180 Per Week Part Time at 
Home. Webster, America's foremost diction¬ 
ary company needs home workers to update 
local mailing lists. All ages, experience unnec¬ 
essary. Cali 716-842-6000 Ext. 5311. 

waiting for the right group or right musicians to 
find you? Then Gail US! The music industry's 
largest source of Qualified national talent. 
We are putting more musicians in contact with 
each other than ANYONE in the business. 
WANT TO BE NEXT? Call 1-612-825-6848. 

Keltner continued from page 90 
everything around. That's very much 
like a jazz musician. I talked (to him 
about that a little bit. He said he saw 
'Trane a few times in New York, and he 
used to play in the same clubs on the 
same bill as Cecil Taylor! Dylan is a 
million times more musical than a lot of 
people realize. But he's so subtle with it, 
and he does it in such a way that a lot of 
people don't understand or they don't 
really get it. Thank God for those who 

SF: Are there any closing comments 
you'd like to make? 

JK: I guess if there's one thing that 
should really matter with any kind of 
musician—but particularly with drum¬ 
mers—it is to have confidence. Playing 
every chance you get, under every kind 
of circumstance will help build your con¬ 
fidence. Being competitive is important, 
but so is sharing ideas, I love talking to 
other drummers and watching them play. 
I always learn something. I get calls from 
drummers asking how to get their foot in 
the recording studio door. Some even 
complain about not being able to. I'd just 
like to say that if you really love to play, 
then you'll be happy playing anywhere. 
The more playing experiences you've 
had will only make you more valuable as 
a player. Every one of the drummers I 
know personally who are top studio 
players all have al least one thing in 
common: Their love for playing music 
surpasses any need to be a studio musi¬ 

Also, don't worry about copying, be¬ 
cause copying is a natural thing, as long 
as you don't make it your main thing. We 
all copy. Don't worry about things like 
sticks, heads and all that other stuff that 
seems so important right now. Find your 
own way. That sounds so corny. But 
anyway—that's the whole shot! I wish I 
could say something really heavy. I 
guess I don't have it in me. Wj 

WANTED: 24 x 14 Rogers Blue Onyx bass 
drum. I'll consider buying your set to obtain 
this drum. Ed {415) 327-2580. 

MASS. 02G62 r 617-331-4939. 

Wanted: Original 'WFL" Ludwig tom tom, 8" x 
12" and/or 10" x 14", Neai Solomon, 1003 
Fernpark, St. Louis, MO 63141, (314) 576- 





Percussion is a prominent texture in Styx’ rich, layered sound. 
John Panozzo’s arsenal of Tama drums and percussion 

provides the power 

For sound, durability, versatility, power and impeccable good 
looks, do as John Panozzo has done — choose Tama. 

" The Strongest Name in Drums” 

For a full color catalog of Tama drums and percussion send $2.00 to:Dept. MD 

PO Box 469. Bensatom, PA 19020 • 32? Bioadway, Idaho Falls, ID 63401 • In Canada: 6355 Park Avt*. Monimat, Pi} K2V 4H5 


Any aspiring musician who 
has dreamed about producing 
that special record that will 
start the spin to fame and for¬ 
tune can learn exactly how to 
go about it in a new release 
from Contemporary Books, 
Inc. of Chicago. The Musi¬ 
cian's Guide to Independent 
Record Production by Will 
Connolly, ajazz musician and 
independent record producer 
himself, takes the reader 
through the complete record¬ 
making process, in a clearly- 
detailed and helpful manner. 

Author Connolly describes 
how the creative, technical, 
and business aspects of record 
production interact. He ex¬ 
plains the techniques and 

methods for planning, budget¬ 
ing, and directing production 
in addition to the essential 
musical processes. 

He unveils such mysteries 
of the craft as how to plan the 
timing and sequence of songs 
on a record. He discusses the 
information that belongs on a 
record label and jacket; tells 
how to direct recording ses¬ 
sions; and explains how to 
find and use industry re¬ 
sources such as studios, mas¬ 
tering laboratories, pressing 
plants, and jacket fabricators. 

For more information write: 
Contemporary Books, Inc., 
180 North Michigan Avenue, 
Chicago, Illinois 60601. 




Some of the world's leading 
experts in percussion—from 
jazz drummers to symphonic 
players—will assemble at the 
Indianapolis Convention Cen¬ 
ter November 12-14 for the 
Percussive Arts Society Inter¬ 
national Convention. The pro¬ 
gram will include concerts, 
clinics, demonstrations, and 
lectures by well-known per¬ 
cussion personalities such as 
Cloyd Duff of the Cleveland 
Orchestra, famed rock drum¬ 
mer Carmine Appice, Japa¬ 
nese marimbist Keiko Abe, 
internationally knownjazz vi- 
best Gary Burton, Pulitzer 
prize winner Michael Col- 
grass, and marching percus¬ 
sion specialist Fred Sanford, 
in addition to other clinicians, 

percussion ensembles, steel 
bands and marimba bands. 

The convention will also 
feature several demonstra¬ 
tions of ethnic instruments in¬ 
cluding Korean, Brazilian, 
and Latin percussion as well 
as displays and exhibits by 
percussion manufacturers and 
publishers. Highlighting the 
four-day event will be con¬ 
certs by Nexus, The Percus¬ 
sion Group, and RePercus- 

Although attendance is lim¬ 
ited to members of the Percus¬ 
sive Arts Society, anyone in¬ 
terested in percussion may 
take out membership and, for 
a small registration fee, attend 
the entire event. For member¬ 
ship information and further 
information on the conven¬ 
tion, write to: Percussive Arts 
Society, Room 205, 110 S. 
Race St., Urbana, IL 61801. 


H. W. Petersen, president 
and chief executive officer of 
The Selmer Company, a 
North American Philips Com¬ 
pany, has announced that on 
Wednesday, August 12, 1981 
an agreement in principle was 
reached with Ludwig Indus¬ 
tries, 1728 North Damen Ave¬ 
nue, Chicago, calling for 
Selmer to acquire the Ludwig 
assets and business. The 
transaction is subject to prep¬ 
aration of a definitive agree¬ 
ment and its approval by the 
board of directors of both 
companies and is expected to 
be completed in October. 

The Selmer Company is a 
manufacturer and distributor 
of band and orchestra instru¬ 
ments and accessories. Lud¬ 
wig Industries is a producer of 
percussion musical instru¬ 
ments, related equipment and 
accessory products. 

According to Peterson, Lud¬ 
wig Industries will continue to 
operate in Chicago and La 
Grange under the direction of 
its present management. 


For a period extending from 
September through December 
1981,Paiste America, in coop¬ 
eration with Music Technolo¬ 
gy, Inc., will be presenting 
comprehensive in-store semi¬ 
nars presented by Paiste prod¬ 
uct specialist Larry Manzi to 
all participating Paiste Sound 
Centers. These seminars will 
focus on the six different 
Paiste cymbal lines, their spe¬ 
cific sound characteristics, 
musical applications and the 
Paiste philosophy. In a larger 
sense, these seminars are in¬ 
tended to educate the modern 
percussionist to the wide 
range of cymbal sounds avail¬ 
able, no matter what style of 
music played. For the exact 
times and locations, write or 
call: Paiste America, Inc., 105 
Fifth Avenue, Garden City 
Park, N.Y. 11040. Tel. No. I- 


* 0 


\ __ 2) 

All s-h-irt-s quality hone silk screened 5Q : 50°-o cotton 'polyester 
7'* per shirt or 14 tq for both shirts Colors, tan - It, blue. 
(Posltige Included? Jo order stole, Name Address, Zip Code, 
Item eho'ce A or i Color, Size. S, L, XL. Send ma^ey order, 
cashier check, or personal check 

faster service to Cottontail Productions 


CASHIEfi CHECKS Cl un l Ltimlog a . 1 1 Yn iliw*- A T 4 I I 




If your hands are sore and 
your legs trembling after a two 
hour set, then consider Boo 
Boo McAfee, a 24-year-old 
professional drummer from 
Nashville who set a new rec¬ 
ord for drumming continuous¬ 
ly for the longest period of 

On August 13 at 3 a.m., 
McAfee stopped for the first 
time since starting the attempt 
737 hours before. The Guin¬ 
ness Book of World Record 
Rules allowed Boo Boo (Der- 
rell Wayne) five minutes rest 
for each hour of performance. 

He drummed through hallu¬ 
cinations and temperamental 
fits but a minor convulsion on 
the 31st day finally ended his 
marathon session just 17 
hours beyond the former 

He was running 12 miles a 
day and was in superb physi¬ 
cal condition before begin¬ 
ning, plus he had the benefit 
of the advice of military psy¬ 
chologists who briefed him on 
the possible effects of exten¬ 
sive sleep deprivation. 



in MD's July "81 issue, we 
reported on Tama Drums 1 ex¬ 
perimental triple bass/triple 
snare set designed for Billy 
Cobhum. In an attempt to give 
credit where credit h due, Ta¬ 
ma's Jeff Hasselberger re¬ 
minds us that the original con¬ 
ception for the triple set came 
from innovator Louie Bel I son, 
in collaboration with Pearl 
Drums and Howie Oliver of 
Pro Drum Shop in Holly¬ 
wood. Bellson used the set 
with the L.A. and Milwaukee 
Symphony Orchestra after de¬ 
veloping the idea some nine 
years ago. 


A most unusual drumming experi¬ 
ence, improving speed and endurance 
in all four limbs. 

Study polyrhythm, super imposition 
counter point, plus odd meter patterns. 

For Immediate Delivery Mail $10.00 
check or money order to 

Q.T. Publishing 

„ P.O. Box 457, Fairview, N.J. 07022 

Pub- @ 

dFfticwi import; 



m m 7 m paw caffe 



c Ws c PetC 





* COMPLETE percussion library 

* rentals 

■ visa a master charge accepted 


Son Bops of Californio 




Harvey Mason 

who's No. 1. 

Premier drums 





Buzzbuster is a new con¬ 
cept to aid drummers in re¬ 
ducing unwanted "sympathet¬ 
ic" snare drum vibration, 
caused by other drums in the 
kit. The adjustable leg-operat¬ 
ed aluminum dampener fits 
onto any snare drum with four 
padded metal clamps. Each 
Buzzbuster comes with two 
sets of dampener pads; soft 
foam pads for most drums and 
thin felt pads for snare drums 
with snare frames. (The pads 
fit between the frame and the 
snare wires.) The pads are 

normally positioned just out 
of contact of the snare wires 
by two springs. By a slight 
sidewards motion of the 
drummer's leg against the leg 
pad (feet stay on footpedals), 
the dampener softly quiets 
buzzing snare wires when the 
drummer plays his toms. This 
produces a cleaner overall 
sound from any drum kit. 

Each Buzzbuster comes 
with assembly instructions. 
For more information write: 
Sam Geisler, P.O. Box 63, Al¬ 
lentown, PA 18105. 



Attractive gold 
plated 2 5/8" long 
drumsticks. Each 
necklace comes 
with a fine quality 
24" chain in a pro¬ 
mark plastic case. 


Send Check or Money Order for $13.95 
(Massachusetts residents add 70# state tax) 
or charge your Mastercard or Visa^send 
card number and expiration date, 

Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. 


Now available, authentic 
Chinese woodblocks imported 
from the People's Republic of 
China. In keeping with their 
basic philosophy of incorpo¬ 
rating traditional percussion 

into non-traditional innova¬ 
tive musical forms, World 
Percussion Inc. offers these 
woodblocks in four sizes. 
Available in sets or individual¬ 

For more information: 
World Percussion, Inc., PO 
Box 502, Capitola, CA 95010. 





To anyone anywhere, anytime 
But we d rather have you 


To see. feel and hear our 


Thun you'll know why our name is 


8622 Reading Rd.. Cincinnati, Ohio 45215 
Mon'Sat 10:00-8:00 / Sunday 12 £10-5:00 






Klic-Trac is a metronome 
for drummers that allows you 
to play using a metronome the 
way session players do in the 
studio—through headphones. 
Drummers can hear this met¬ 
ronome even when playing a 
full set of drums. The muffling 
effect of wearing headphones 
while playing creates a "re¬ 
corded" sound from the 
drums. Features include vari¬ 
able tempo control, variable 
volume, compatibility with all 
stereo headphones, and a 
unique belt-clip design. 

For more information write: 
AXE, P.O. Box 2331, Menlo 
Park, CA 94025 



Model 3830A is made from 
solid aluminum bars and fea¬ 
tures 30 chimes. This model 
covers a three octave range. 
Model 3835A features 35 
chimes. Each model is avail¬ 
able in tubular brass, at an 
additional cost. 


Aquarian Accessories intro¬ 
duces the new Super Cymbal 
Spring. It allows drummers to 
mount Chinese or Swish cym¬ 
bals upside down, safely! 
Three springs, two inside the 
outer one, provide the proper 
degree of firmness and flexi¬ 

It is also recommended for 
mounting large, heavy ride 
cymbals at extreme angles. 
Super Cymbal Spring pro¬ 
vides a "firm" feel while pro¬ 
viding the extra protection of 
unrestricted movement need¬ 
ed for hard playing. It may be 
mounted on virtually any 
cymbal stand. 

According to Danny Rahl- 
mann, designer and manufac¬ 
turing director, "the alumi¬ 
num models feature a textured 
finish which was derived from 
the aerospace industry." 

For further information 
contact Suzanne Seidel at: 
Nail Road Products, 145 St. 
Daniel Ln., Florissant, MO 


A new program offering 
custom timpani heads individ¬ 
ually made by hand, in any 
size up to 35" O.D. has been 
announced by Remo, Inc. 

The custom heads, offered 
in a choice of hazy or trans¬ 
parent film, can also be fur¬ 
nished with a steel insert ring 
embedded into the flesh hoop 
for added rigidity and 
strength. The heads are 
shipped in special heavy-duty 

protective packaging. The 
most widely used timpani 
sizes can be ordered by cata¬ 
log number. 

For special size heads not 
available by catalog number, 
timpanists should provide the 
old timpani head to be dupli¬ 
cated, or the actual counter¬ 
hoop to be custom fitted. If 
these are not available, the 
exact head dimension must be 
provided. For further infor¬ 
mation write: Remo, Inc., 
12804 Raymer Street, North 
Hollywood, CA 91605. 

Meet our 

Ralph Humphrey and Joe Porcaro head the faculty of the 
Percussion Institute of Technology. Their years of experience, 
ran png from symphony to Frank Zappa, lead to the design of 
n demanding curriculum, covering all the styles of today. 


Send for free info: Musicians Institute. 67,57 HnUvwotxi tilvd., 
Box R. Hollywood* FA 90028 (2m 462-1384 

ton* S' iLjridwavf'dm'TftatP W^nuothpr drums im 
ynsrlrt. Primer have J£flLiO'*rl thp shcl ilktfnriw to 
iHdkF- the ttawte ovnlmn That X unique In Premier 
ft-id it fitue* you i hip new sound Out heavy bwkeft 
iinrt f?tfi iml w^ryj finish*?* Smihftwave n 
nr*w tqtifc taliefl new otift ,il Soundwave 

Premier Soundwave Outfits 


Not yet auAilahfcF' in the U.S A 





Custom Snare Drums Built to Your Specifications 


2204 Jerusalem Ave. 
N. Merrick, NY 11566 


223 Commack Rd. 
Commack, NY 11725 


252-08 Northern Blvd. 
Little Neck, NY 11363 


There are 3 models in the 
Pro-Mark Tatsu series. These 
sticks are made in Japan of 
USA Hickory wood. The con¬ 
cept is based on the Pro-Mark 
DC-10 model, "a new drum¬ 
stick with longer lasting life 
because there are no tips to 
break or crack off," according 
to a Pro-Mark spokesman. 

Contact Pro-Mark Corp., 
10706 Craighead Dr., Hous¬ 
ton, Texas 77025 



The Pro-Mark Hi-Hat Stand 
is now under the name of 
Jacques Capelle (Originally 
Orange, then changed to Pro- 

Additionally, the new mod¬ 
el Bass Drum Pedal will be 
under the Capelle name. The 
entire Jacques Capelle line of 
percussion equipment is made 
in France. 

Exclusive distribution will 
still be through Pro-Mark and 
selected wholesalers. 

For more information con¬ 
tact Pro-Mark Corporation, 
10706 Craighead Dr., Hous¬ 
ton, Texas 77025. 







and much murk 






3f V/mase 



The new 
custom designed 
Freddie White 999 
has the reach, feel 
and balance needed 
by today’s top 


American hickory expertly finished 
in smooth, low luster, thin lacquer. 

Available at leading 
music and percussion 
shops world-wide. 

i£llei$ usa ★★★★★★★★ 

M.M.S. Inc. • P.O. Box 424 

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin 53147 • 414/248-9031 


■i v ^ V 

ft n 

Enclosed in a booth you hear the tracks in your cans. 
The band's pulling in the right direction. So far you've been 
laying down the basic tracks, and now it's time for a little 
sweetening You strengthen the groove and you bring In 
those quick chippy highs off your cymbals and start to 
savor the sound. 

Nbur Zildjian Quick Beat Hl-Hats with a flat 4-holed bot¬ 
tom cymbal spin out a short 
tight compact sound. Incredi¬ 
bly controlled and still just 

§ laln incredible. And your 
Idjian Thin Crash comes on 
with quick bright high-end 
accents that keep it all nice 
and tasty. 

Because we put our best 

into a dozen Hl-Hats and 29 different Crashes, you get your 
best out of all of them. No matter how long you've been 
savoring the highs from your cymbals. And that same 
sharp clarity and super strength are handcrafted into all 
120 different Zildjian models and sizes for every kind of 
drummer In every kind of music. 

See for yourself how over 200 of the world's most 
tamous performers savor the high from their Zlldjlans. In our 
new Cymbal Set-Up Book, the most comprehensive refer¬ 
ence guide for drummers ever published. For your copy, 
see your Zildjian dealer or send us S4 to cover postage 
and handling. 

Avedit Zildjian Company, Cymbal Makers Since 1623. Long water Drive. NonvelJ, 


ail, ma 0206! The only 

only serious choice.